Heart in a Cage
Label: Rough Trade
The Strokes sound less angular yet tighter and fuller. Julian Casablancas' voice is still delightfully disheveled, but his lyrics are more self-reflective. The contagious chorus melody in "Razorblade" bites Barry Manilow's "Mandy" (no joke), while "Vision of Division" boasts a Brahman-influenced guitar solo -- and are those electric, backwards cellos on "Ask Me Anything"?