Julian Casablancas, "11th Dimension"
Unabashedly retro, Casio-style keyboards kick off the first single from Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas' anticipated solo debut album, "Phrazes for the Young." Although those first notes sound like they should be playing during the opening credits of a cheesy B-movie from the '80s, Strokes fans can set aside their worst fears, because Casablancas proves that he isn't one to dive headfirst into synth-pop without a sense of irony. On "11th Dimension," the singer redirects kitschy pop into the arena of "Achtung Baby"-era U2, implementing a Teutonic boogie under his smooth, monotone croon. He sings, "I just nod, I've never been so good at shaking hands," but with this ultra-catchy, pop-rock gem, Casablancas shows that he can get hipsters shaking on the dancefloor.-Ronald Hart