Simon Reynolds explains the ominous parallels at the blissblog:
We Are All French Today. The Strokes new single: It was on the tip of my tongue and the wife pipped me to the post–“this sounds like if Daft Punk made a rock recordâ€. Marital telepathy or objective truth? It’s no secret that France has a bit of a chequered history with la musique roque. There tends to be this twice-removed, distanced aura to that nation’s guitarband output. It can be enjoyable for precisely that quality: Plastic Bertrand â€œCa Plane Pour Moiâ€ (he was Belgian though right? apparently he didnâ€™t even sing on his own records, sez Malcolm McLaren, admiringly), Les Ritas Mitsoukos (not sure â€˜bout the spelling) on their one great track whose title escapes me (sounded very T.Rexy though), even things like Metal Urbain (check their great new reissue Anarchy In Paris!, Acuteâ€™s best yet) and Les Thugs. And of course Daft Punk took that nonreal vibe and turned it into a positive aesthetic strength. The new Strokes has that artificiel quality–not as in fake, inauthentic, bogus, so much as made out of some ersatz substance that resembles but isnâ€™t real-deal rock. Thereâ€™s a plasticized glazed gloss to the record, a deep unrocking stiltedness. Itâ€™s particular the case with that track which more than any Strokes tune seems plotted out on graph paper, and is delivered in unusually desultory and remote-control mode. But maybe that degree of twice-removed and hyper-selfconsciousness is our common condition today, maybe itâ€™s impossible for anyone anywhere to rock in that basic pure from-the-gut unreflecting scare-quote-free way that was available to James Gang or AC/DC or whoever. (Look at the Darkness or Andrew W.K., where for all their intent to rock, their straight faces… well, letâ€™s just say Iâ€™m not convinced). Maybe we are all French today.