If you’re anything like me, (and I sincerely hope you’re not because I’m terrible), you’ve been waiting a long time to hear from The Strokes again. Seriously, it feels like it’s been forever since their most recent album, First Impressions of the Earth, was released. Oh, right, that’s because it HAS been forever! It’s okay though because after a lengthy five year hiatus The Strokes are finally back and better than ever!
The band’s newest album, Angles, was released just a couple of weeks ago and is definitely worth checking into. Angles adds a little bit of an upbeat energy to the bands usual brand of grungy garage rock coupled with Julian Casablancas’ distinct, shadowy vocals. It becomes clear very early in the album that the band has made a few changes.
The album begins on a very strong note with, “Machu Picchu”, a song that possesses a vaguely reggae sound mixed with The Strokes’ unique rock style. This is the perfect opening track because it draws the listener in and essentially forces them to listen to the rest of the album.
From “Machu Picchu”, we transition into the album’s first single, “Under the Cover of Darkness”. This is one of those tracks that you cannot help but dance to. It has a fun, cheerful sort of rhythm, and a beat that makes it almost impossible to stand still. It’s one of those unbelievably catchy songs that can get stuck in your head for days no matter how hard you try to replace it with something else.
As the album continues, it keeps with the theme of almost “poppy” rhythms paired with semi-depressing lyrics. “Gratisfaction” is another one of those songs that makes you want to drop whatever it is you’re doing just so you can start dancing like a complete idiot. Personally, I feel like this particular song sounds a lot like something that would have been performed by Queen back in the day, and honestly, I like that about it. Although, I’m a pretty big Queen fan, so my opinion might be a little bias.
If you want a bit of a “blast from the past”, so to speak, “Metabolism” is the track to listen to. It brings me back to a lot of the songs on The Strokes’ previous albums. It has that same sort of dark, dirty sound as a lot of the tracks on First Impressions of the Earth. Casablancas’ vocals come out completely in the chorus of this song, and lyrically, it’s one of the best on the album.
Basically, whether or not you were a huge fan of The Strokes in the past, Angles might just be worth listening to. It’s different, but not so different that it’s unrecognizable. Normally, I’m not a big fan of change, but when it’s for the better, such is the case with this album; it’s alright in my book!