They trained in A-V-A

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The Strokes – The Modern Age

Up on a hill…

Is where I’ll begin.

Ten years ago, I first heard this majestic piece of work while in the sun, sun having fun. While it was the first song to catch and captivate the ears of many by The Strokes, it was not my first reveling in them. By then, I had obtained a copy, courtesy of my older brother, of the, now, renowned revelation that is Is This It. It was the inducting album of The Strokes that illuminated so many insolvent and destitute fans of music with actual merit in the midst of a popodessy. But then, suddenly, with an opening riff that could strike a jolt in anyone and the impeccability of these exuberant banging drums that implores a free spirit, the world is enthralled and comforted. Rock and roll is not dead. It has been revived and repositioned. The Modern Age is an applicable anthem to anyone bearing or, even, pining for youth.

Being catchy is one matter but aural orchestrator, Julian Casablancas, never fails to engender lyrics that stirs. In the course of my first listening to The Modern Age, not until the chorus lyrics spoke to me did my ears sharpen as sensations sparked. The resonance of his voice has a vibe of a suppressed, wayward laughter. He reiterates a story, but then the woes of reality kick in and we hear an absolving Julian. Work hard and say it’s easy. Do it just to please. Tomorrow will be different. So I’ll pretend I’m leaving. What generic misapprehended soul, departed from the rest of society, can’t be stolen by that? But hold on tight and regenerate, your breath is going to go again. Following, is the concentrated, blazing guitar solo from a, then, fresh but soulful Nick Valensi.

The musical luminosity that is Valensi’s solo is one of the most imperative, endeared solos to many fans. It’s well-nigh the reason as to why this piece of music is brilliance and not just goodness. Perhaps, it is the whimsical, rapturous ride it takes you for. Perhaps, it’s the experience of Valensi making love to his guitar thereupon sheer genius is the child. Tangling with the sprightly pulsations of a tempo prompted by Fabrizio Moretti (I dare you to resist from tapping your feet.), it amplifies the song to a different magnitude. Along with the firm reinforcing rhythm guitar of Albert Hammond, Jr. and sweeping with the tactful trims of the bass provided by the gracious Nikolai Fraiture, the song is layered and laced with delight. Moreover, accentuating that this is an ensemble of five. Every member is vital to the magic and no one is sitting pretty.

You can steer off into tangents of their backgrounds. You can interrogate the quiescent years. The consistent melodic splendors they conceive, howbeit, speak for themselves. The thought provoking lyrics will entice and intrigue any audience. If you were insipid enough to be unimpressed with The Strokes before hearing this song, trust this is the track that will prove to be cogent enough to bind your heart to this band. You’ll be ripping your earphones off bellowing My vision’s clearer now, but I am unafraid. Ten years after adorning the earth, ten years after enduring skepticism, The Modern Age is still timeless and still effervescent. [Is This It… without [a] question [mark].]

8 Responses to “They trained in A-V-A”

  1. Sam says:

    I never used to be that big on The Strokes, I’m still not to be honest but I do like listening to them on occasion. Room on Fire is their best for me, but my favourite tracks are 12:51, Hard to Explain and Ask Me Anything. Nice writeup.

  2. marcob says:

    “… these exuberant banging drums that implores a free spirit”
    Reading these words I couldn’t avoid to think of Sigur Ros’ “Gobbledigook”. You can find it on Vimeo:

  3. Ryan says:

    Def, a throwback with this one. Can’t wait to catch them in August at Outside Lands.

  4. mtthg says:

    I’ve also recently rediscovered The Strokes. After all these years, there music is still good to me. Couldn’t read your post though-the text is cut off on the right side

  5. Joan says:

    @mtthg: I assume you’re using Internet Explorer or Safari? The site works a-okay on Firefox but tunethepro’s appearance on IE and Safari still has some kinks that I have neither the know-how nor the time to figure out.

    Anyway, thanks for the write-up, Jenna. I anxiously await the revealing of my roster to find out if it will give me Saturday 29th July off for The Strokes concert. If not, I may just have to quit. Or swap shifts. Whatever.

  6. Milad says:

    I look forward to seeing these fuckers next month.

  7. Maya says:

    Great post. I have to say that The Modern Age has never been amongst my favourite songs by them, but this post kinda makes me want to listen to it. A lot.

  8. Connie says:

    Great description, enjoyed reading it while listening to the song.

    I also thought that Julian sounded like he was going to laugh or that he was grinning while singing.

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