March 22nd, 2013 | Have You Heard the New... | 1 Comment
The Strokes were one of the bands that made me fall in love with music, so whenever they release a new album, it’s a big deal. Are people talking about this back in North America? Hasn’t been the stuff of much discussion in the IDF, believe it or not. Maybe it’s because it’s coming so soon after the underwhelming Angles. In any case, let’s get into this.
So, it looks like we’re gonna have to get used to The Strokes 2.0. Comedown Machine is clearly the new The Strokes that we got on Angles – less NYC cool, more simple, old-school pop-rock band with great guitar-arrangements and a frontman that keep things interesting. But they’re more confident and comfortable in their new skin this time, and they sound good…most of the time. The songs are by and large better and more consistent than those on Angles, and the band feels more engaged in them. The first half of the album particularly impresses – as with Angles, that’s where they stuff most of the straight-on killer tracks, saving the more experimental but less-actually-good for the bottom half.
At this point I feel like I can live with and even enjoy these middle-period Strokes – I even half to give them credit for still sounding relevant while their old-school peers The Hives and even Jack White sound out of place in 2013′s bandiverse. Most of the credit, however, goes to Julian Casablancas, who sounds rejuvenated here – he continues to stretch he vocal abilities and expand his signiture singing territory with a lot more falsetto than we’re used to from the famously baritone-voiced frontman. The production – though similar in feel to Angles – is also a bit better, credit owed to producer Gus Oberg.
Like everyone who remembers 2001, I miss the Strokes of Is This It and Room On Fire and would prefer them – even solo Julian at his best – to the new Strokes. But I can still enjoy the band for their numerous strengths that remain on Comedown Machine.