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58. The Strokes – Hard to Explain



Hard To Explain is the leanest of The Strokes’ songs, which, for a band that prided itself on nonchalance and non-embellishment, surely makes it one of their best, too. But this is a slightly different kind of cool. The sloppy confidence of The Modern Age is replaced here with a teutonic swagger – the very fact that the record begins without any of the band actually playing is almost aggressively off-hand, and then the decision to delay the chorus for nearly two minutes shows a group at their most obnoxiously self-assured, cocky but very desirable all the same. Another pre-album single that captured the imagination before the backlash had a chance to kick in, Hard To Explain was pretty much the last thing The Strokes put out before the innocence was completely washed away. Consequently, the track will always exude that feeling of a group brilliantly aware of its impending imperiousness.

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