To Julian Casablancas, it must seem as if the whole world’s gone crazy: the hip kids are either in sweaters and boat shoes or tie-dyes and Tevas (Animal Collective totally wear Tevas). As the second terrific available song off Casablancas’s November 3 solo disc, Phrazes for the Young confirms, he’s still all about the black-leather cool. Or maybe it’s black-latex cool: musically, the dark, clanking “River of Brakelights” shares something with industrial music. Spiritually, it’s pure Strokes — if the Strokes were ever spiritual: It’s the story of a night gone wrong with a chick who, probably, seemed so right. If that sounds like a far cry from industrial-style dystopia, consider that they’re stuck in traffic, maybe even on the BQE. There’s something to put notions of progress behind you.
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