Stroke me, stroke me



First impressions of Earth? It sucks — unbearably so. The problem being that, of all the things that become the Strokes — undeniable hooks, celebrity girlfriends, cheekbones to die for, etc. — desperation isn’t one of ’em. And after the lackluster sales of 2003’s underrated Room on Fire, the band’s third album is little more than a painfully misguided grasp at relevance. If there’s any doubt the Strokes want to ingratiate themselves to Middle America now that their hipster cachet has faded, look no further than the presence of producer David Kahne (Sugar Ray, Sublime), who flattens the band’s sound into a nondescript, dude-rock din clearly intended for mass consumption. Kahne isn’t entirely to blame for Earth’s crappiness, however, as even he can’t be expected to polish turds like the lead single “Juicebox,” typical of the album’s relentless mediocrity, and the boring, Barry Manilow-biting “Razorblade.” Nothing here even remotely rivals the catchiness of “Last Nite,” “12:51” or Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” — a better Strokes song than anything actually by the Strokes — leaving fans to wonder if, in trying to expand its audience, the band forgot why anyone listened in the first place. You can’t blame the Strokes for establishing a new direction for themselves; it’s just too bad, especially given how hard they’re trying, that they’re headed down the shitter.

Jimmy Draper writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free ā€“ and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.