When i first heard the album First Impressions Of Earth twelve years ago the track Ask Me Anything stood out, but not in a positive light. My 18 year old brain was not ready for a track like this, I remember thinking ‘this is barely music’ and yet it has stayed with me for many years and over time, my perspective on the track morphed to a highly positive one.
Now, Turning 31 this week I can see the songs satirical bent. It’s purposefully awkward, as Julian Casablancas out of tune vocals deliver lyrics that can be seen as either self loathing or arrogant. A musician that states he has nothing to say and yet will take up your time telling you about it.
It also adds lyrics of pure self entitlement, “I’d like to watch, I’d like to read, I’d like a part, I’d like the lead, but I’ve got nothing to say” manage to exemplify white privilege at a time when I had no idea what that ment.
It’s this dichotomy in the vocals that keep the track in my head to this day. Should we feel sorry or hate the character they lyrics portray. As he croons over a mellotron i’m left thinking maybe its a bit of both. In all its weirdness “Ask Me Anything” ironically has something to say, And it says it poignantly: