First Impressions of Earth

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First Impressions of Earth
Studio album by The Strokes
Released January 3, 2006
Recorded January–May 2005 in Sestri Levante (Albergo Bar Ristorante "La Neigra")
Length 52:19
The Strokes chronology
Room on Fire
First Impressions of Earth
Singles from First Impressions of Earth
  1. "Juicebox"
    Released: October 2005
  2. "Heart in a Cage"
    Released: March 2006
  3. "You Only Live Once"
    Released: September 2006

First Impressions of Earth is the third studio album by the American rock band the Strokes. It was released on January 3, 2006, through RCA Records, having been preceded by lead single "Juicebox" some weeks earlier. It is also the first album by the Strokes to have a Parental Advisory Label, as well as the first and only to exceed 40 minutes in length.


The album was recorded over a ten-month period. The Strokes initially set out to record it with Gordon Raphael, the producer of their first two albums. Later on, guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr. introduced them to Grammy Award-winning producer David Kahne (Paul McCartney, Tony Bennett, Sublime), who stepped in to collaborate with Raphael. However, the collaboration was not working out and so Raphael stepped down. As a result, the majority of the album was produced by Kahne.


Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (69/100)[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[2]
The Austin Chronicle 3/5 stars[3]
The A.V. Club B+[4]
Entertainment Weekly B+[5]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[6]
NME (8/10)[7]
Pitchfork Media (5.9/10)[8]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[9]
Spin (5/10)[10]
Yahoo! Music UK 6/10 stars[11]

The album has a score of 69 out of 100 from Metacritic based on 38 reviews indicating "generally favorable reviews".[1] Some of the reviews were among the harshest the Strokes had received up to this point in the band's recording career. For instance, Heather Phares of AllMusic called the album the Strokes' "weakest album yet."[2] At the same time, the album also received positive reviews from the likes of Will Hermes of Entertainment Weekly who praised the album and thought it was a marked improvement over the Strokes' previous album Room on Fire.[5] In his Consumer Guide, Robert Christgau gave the album a three-star honorable mention ((3-star Honorable Mention)) while picking out two songs from the album ("You Only Live Once" and "Ask Me Anything") and stating, "You know how it is--the gym does more for your wind than for your jump shot."[12]

Even more reviews were positive. Playlouder gave it four-and-a-half stars out of five and said, "Turns out what the world was waiting for really was those that saved guitars finally making a record that truly reaped the rewards of their efforts."[13] gave it a score of three-and-a-half stars out of five and said, "What exactly it is the Strokes ultimately hope to achieve with their music remains to be seen. However, so long as they continue to put out quality discs with high replay value, they will remain that rare breed of band where hype did not spoil the goods."[14] musicOMH gave it a score of three-and-a-half stars out of five and stated, "For the first six songs, the whole thing is as exhilarating as Is This It?, it's in a different way, undoubtedly, but there's the same giddy rush of excitement."[15] Stylus Magazine gave it a B− and called it "the first pretty good album of the year."[16] Tiny Mix Tapes also gave the album a score of three-and-a-half stars out of five and said, "There is indeed more good than bad. Unfortunately, there is also more bad than there should be."[17]

Some of the reviews are mixed or negative. Drowned in Sound gave it a score of six out of ten and stated, "Cast away the politics and the last twenty minutes and you'll still be left with two or three top tunes to add to your daily playlists, but it was never going to be ground-breaking or innovative."[18] Uncut gave it three stars out of five and said, "The ambition's hampered by Julian Casablancas' sad-sack singing."[1] Paste also gave it a score of six out of ten and stated, "By the time they're through brandishing quotations, The Strokes don't have much of their own to say here."[19] Slant Magazine gave it two-and-a-half stars out of five and said it "introduces some subtle new colors to the band's musical palette... but the pervasive sense of inert boredom, which has been noted as a strength in the past, is difficult to shake."[20] PopMatters gave it a score of five stars out of ten and said, "While it might be easy to point to the industry guy behind the boards, the album speaks for itself, and the Strokes managed to write a flop all by themselves."[21]

"Heart in a Cage" was the album's second single, followed by "You Only Live Once". NME rated First Impressions of Earth at #8 in its Albums of the Year 2006 list.[22]


First Impressions of Earth entered the UK Albums Chart at number one, the Strokes' first album at the top spot. The album peaked at #4 in the US, with an entry sales week of 88,000 units, somewhat below the performance of its predecessors. In Canada, the album debuted at #3, selling just under 10,000 copies.[23] As of October 2006, the album had sold 271,000 units in the US, falling short of gold certification. Although the album was the band's first release to reach #1 on any chart worldwide, it is the only one not to reach UK platinum status, and spent much less time on the charts than the previous albums. However, it has still achieved gold sales in Australia and silver sales in the UK [24]as of 2012.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Julian Casablancas, except where noted.

No. Title Length
1. "You Only Live Once" 3:09
2. "Juicebox" 3:17
3. "Heart in a Cage" 3:27
4. "Razorblade" 3:29
5. "On the Other Side" 4:38
6. "Vision of Division" 4:20
7. "Ask Me Anything" (Julian Casablancas, Nick Valensi) 3:12
8. "Electricityscape" 3:33
9. "Killing Lies" (Julian Casablancas, Nikolai Fraiture) 3:50
10. "Fear of Sleep" 4:00
11. "15 Minutes" 4:34
12. "Ize of the World" 4:29
13. "Evening Sun" (Julian Casablancas, Fabrizio Moretti) 3:06
14. "Red Light" 3:11


  • Piero Fornasetti - disc artwork ("Strumenti Musicali", 1952)
  • Lothar Quinte - cover art ("Ohne Titel", 1968)
  • Günter Fruhtrunk - rear cover art ("Mathematik der Intuition", 1962)
  • James Bellesini - album design for Love Police
  • Dan Winters - photography


The following artworks appear in the 32-page booklet included with the deluxe version of the album:


"Heart in a Cage"
"You Only Live Once"
  • Released: July 24, 2006 (Worldwide), September 26, 2006 (US)
  • Chart positions:
    #35 (US Modern Rock)

Chart performance[edit]

Chart Peak
No. of Weeks
on Chart
Australian Albums Chart[26] 4 6
Austrian Albums Chart 9 11
Belgian Flanders Albums Chart 21 8
Belgian Wallonia Albums Chart 26 10
Danish Albums Chart 10 3
Dutch Albums Chart 23 6
Finnish Albums Chart 10 5
France Albums Chart 9 33
German Albums Chart 11 5
Irish Albums Chart 3 10
Italian Albums Chart 25 10
New Zealand Albums Chart 10 5
Norwegian Albums Chart 22 3
Portuguese Albums Chart 22 4
Spanish Albums Chart 30 7
Swedish Albums Chart 9 6
Swiss Albums Chart 11 10
UK Albums Chart 1 9
US Billboard 200 4 5


  1. ^ a b c "Critic Reviews for First Impressions Of Earth". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  2. ^ a b Phares, Heather. "First Impressions of Earth - The Strokes". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  3. ^ Hernandez, Raoul (2006-01-13). "The Strokes: First Impressions of Earth (RCA)". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  4. ^ Murray, Noel (2006-01-04). "The Strokes: First Impressions Of Earth | Music | Music Review". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  5. ^ a b Will Hermes (2006-01-09). "First Impressions of Earth | Music". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  6. ^ Alexis Petridis (2005-12-15). "CD: The Strokes, First Impressions of Earth | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  7. ^ Pattison, Louis (2006-01-10). "The Strokes - The Strokes: First Impressions Of Earth - Album Reviews". NME. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  8. ^ Deusner, Stephen M. (2006-01-02). "The Strokes: First Impressions of Earth | Album Reviews". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  9. ^ Sheffield, Rob (2006-01-26). "First Impressions Of Earth". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  10. ^ Dolan, Jon (2005-12-27). "The Strokes, 'First Impressions of Earth' (RCA)". Spin. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  11. ^ Gilbert, Ben (2006-01-02). "The Strokes - 'First Impressions Of Earth'". Yahoo! Music UK. Archived from the original on 2006-01-11. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  12. ^ Christgau, Robert. "CG: The Strokes". Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  13. ^ Moffat, Iain (2005-12-28). "First Impressions of Earth". Playlouder. Archived from the original on 2006-01-06. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  14. ^ blade-runner (2006-01-17). "The Strokes - First Impressions of Earth". Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  15. ^ Lee, Tim (2006-01-02). "The Strokes - First Impressions Of Earth". musicOMH. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  16. ^ Southall, Nick (2006-01-03). "The Strokes - First Impressions of Earth". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  17. ^ Grigsby (2006-12-14). "The Strokes - First Impressions of Earth". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  18. ^ Fisher, Jonathan (2006-01-09). "The Strokes - First Impressions Of Earth". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  19. ^ Hogan, Marc (2006-01-11). "The Strokes - First Impressions of Earth :: Music :: Reviews". Paste. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  20. ^ Jones, Preston (2005-12-29). "The Strokes: First Impressions Of Earth". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  21. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (2006-01-03). "The Strokes: First Impressions of Earth". PopMatters. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  22. ^ "Albums of the Year 2006". NME. Archived from the original on 2006-12-09. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  23. ^ "The Strokes make top 10 debut". Jam!. Retrieved 2011-04-06. 
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-06. Retrieved 2015-01-17. 
  25. ^ "NME Track by Track by The Strokes". Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  26. ^ The Strokes - First Impressions of Earth - Music Charts

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Curtain Call: The Hits by Eminem
UK number one album
January 8, 2006 – January 14, 2006
Succeeded by
Back to Bedlam by James Blunt