Review: The Strokes – “Angles”

8.2

The Strokes are not what they used to be. Not that that’s a bad thing, it’s just a different thing. A different thing that I’m happily embracing.

Gone is the recorded-in-the-basement sound of their first two iconic albums, and in is a sound that relies more on slick production, synths and uptempo percussion, and a more calculated vocal effect on Julian. The album starts off strong with Machu Picchu and Under Cover of Darkness which both employ a sound more akin to what we’ve known them for.

At the third track, “Two Kinds of Happiness” we get the first glimpse of the new Strokes. The production is distinctly 80s with the vocals being a lot duller than the usual catchy verses. It’s a bit of a stumble that continues through to “You’re So Right,” which sounds like a cross between Muse and 311 – and not in a flattering way.

Luckily, the album picks back up and stays there. “Taken For A Fool?” gets back on track with classic Strokes style and sharp lyrics. “Games” delves back into the new sound and hits it right on the mark. Lyrics are overpowered at times, but that’s the way the production should be here. “Call Me Back” gives us a nice break, and then it’s on to Queen-inspired “Gratisfaction.” The sound here is uniquely The Strokes, and they really pull it off nicely. “Metabolism” is a fairly good song but does nothing to really stand out, with “Life Is Simple In The Moonlight” finishing off the album on a more subdued note. This is probably the best constructed song on the album, with a great mellow sound and strong vocals.

Overall, this is a better album than their previous – but does not touch their first two efforts in hooks, lyrical content, or style. It’s certainly a solid album, but it’s not “Is This It.”

Enjoy opening song “Machu Picchu” below:

 

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