Phrazes for the Young

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Phrazes for the Young
Phrazes cover small.jpg
Studio album by Julian Casablancas
Released November 3, 2009
Recorded ARC Studios, Omaha, NE
F-Hole Studios, New York City, NY
Heart Shaped Studios, Los Angeles, CA
Genre Alternative rock, electronic, new wave, synthpop
Length 40:08
Label Rough Trade (UK)
Cult Records via RCA (US & Europe)
Producer Jason Lader, Mike Mogis
Julian Casablancas chronology
Phrazes for the Young
Singles from Phrazes for the Young
  1. "11th Dimension"
    Released: October 2, 2009
  2. "I Wish It Was Christmas Today"
    Released: December 21, 2009
  3. "Out of the Blue"
    Released: January 25, 2010
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 72/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[2]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[3]
musicOMH 4/5 stars[4]
NME (8/10)[5]
NOW Magazine 4/5 stars[6]
PopMatters (8/10)[7]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[8]
Spin 4/5 stars[9]
The Times 4/5 stars[10]
Uncut 4/5 stars[11]

Phrazes for the Young is the debut solo album by American songwriter Julian Casablancas, released on November 2, 2009 in the UK and November 3 in the US. Casablancas, who is best known for being the front man of New York rock band The Strokes, recorded the eight-song album in 2009 in New York, Los Angeles, and Omaha, Nebraska. Jason Lader served as producer, and musician Mike Mogis (from Bright Eyes and Monsters of Folk) contributed additional production.[12] The album title is a reference to Oscar Wilde's "Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young".[13] Casablancas' dog, Balki, is pictured on the album sleeve.[14]

The album was previewed in its entirety on August 31, 2009 at the Duo Music Exchange in Tokyo, Japan.[15] To celebrate the release, Casablancas played a special series of shows every Friday night in November in Los Angeles.[16] The first track released from the album, "11th Dimension", had its first airing on the Radio 1 Zane Lowe Show on September 17, and was marked as Zane Lowe's Hottest Record. The single was released on October 2, 2009 in the US.[17]

"Left & Right in the Dark", "Out of the Blue", "Ludlow St" and "11th Dimension" are featured in the Gossip Girl episode "The Lady Vanished". Casablancas performed "I Wish It Was Christmas Today" (based on a Saturday Night Live skit) on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on December 21, 2009. "11th Dimension" was also featured in the opening of the 2015 American comedy film Vacation, and "Out of the Blue" is featured in the trailer of The Kids Are All Right.

Box set[edit]

A deluxe box set including B-sides and home recordings was made available after the album's release. It comes with a vinyl recording of the album and is housed within an antique style box.


The album debuted at #35 on the US Billboard 200 (#11 on the digital albums chart) and #19 on the UK Albums Chart.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Julian Casablancas, except where noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Out of the Blue"   4:43
2. "Left & Right in the Dark"   4:58
3. "11th Dimension"   4:05
4. "4 Chords of the Apocalypse" (chorus chord progression by Casablancas, Fabrizio Moretti, Nick Valensi) 5:02
5. "Ludlow St."   5:45
6. "River of Brakelights"   5:13
7. "Glass"   5:20
8. "Tourist" (chorus melody by Casablancas, JP Bowersock) 5:02
Total length:


Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2009) Peak
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[18] 96
French Albums (SNEP)[19] 49
Mexican Albums (Top 100 Mexico)[20] 56
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[21] 34
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[22] 49
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[23] 64
UK Albums (Official Charts Company) 19
US Billboard 200 35
US Billboard Alternative Albums 10
US Billboard Digital Albums 11
US Billboard Rock Albums 12
US Billboard Tastemaker Albums 5