The Strokes new album Comedown Machine

The Strokes have unleashed a new album into the world and on first listen I can’t really grasp what their vision for the album was.  Their guitar/synth mashup style has now seemingly eschewed their wall of fuzz trademark and Julian’s vocals are even more unintelligible than usual.  On the opening track, Tap Out, it feels like the boys are gassed and are consciously trolling their fans, peers, and label.  The song has the pep and bounce you would expect, but the formula is missing something.  On previous efforts it felt as if The Strokes didn’t care an ounce and yet they combined that with an effortless sense of cool.  Here it feels, at times, like they genuinely just don’t care.

Elsewhere on the album you can hear their genius.  To be fair, I think this is the problem.  When viewing The Strokes through the lens of their previous efforts it’s easy to say they’re coming up short.  To label Comedown Machine (amazon) (itunes) as a poor effort is easy to do when you have Is This It sitting on the shelf.  It’s the same routine that has plagued other bands like Weezer or even Arcade Fire.  When your debut is so breathtakingly spot on everything you do after that will fall short of the impossible litmus test.

mp3 : The Strokes – One Way Trigger

All of that is true, and yet this is still a fun album from The Strokes.  It has some forgettable moments, but it also has a few songs that will stick with you and keep you trudging back through the full track list looking for that hidden spark.  Still it’s songs and demos like the following that make me wish for what could still come from the New York boys.

mp3 : The Strokes – I’ll Try Anything Once (You Only Live Once Demo)

+ more The Strokes @ twf hype elbows site amazonmp3 itunes

9 thoughts on “The Strokes new album Comedown Machine”

  1. I completely agree with your review. It seems like they just went through the motions and cranked out another album for money.

  2. I got some flak for this review, but after repeated listening and also sauntering through their entire catalog, I stand by what I wrote. It feels like they’re fulfilling a contract to get this album done and out the door.

    There are still moments where their past luster is on display, but it’s not a album stock full of those songs.

  3. The Strokes were a unique sound when they came out, but since then that sound has been taken, reused, and in some cases improved, by a dozen different artists – the White Stripes, The Vines, The Hives, Jet, the list goes on. To think that same minimalist sound is ever going to compare to how it first entered our consciousness would be a false assumption, but I for one definitely still appreciate the return the Strokes made here for what it is – fun and entertaining. Not all albums need to be watershed moments.

  4. he now has his down to about 2 hours a day. Other Hollywood stars take the easy route – laxatives, plastic surgery and having the means to hire personal chefs who prepare nothing but healthy food for them. Others take an in-between approach: moderation in eating and physical activity, and hiring personal trainers & nutritionists.A haircut and tux might have helped Kilmer’s image here, and I would guess not many people are interested in hearing him re-live his glory days looking like this.

  5. But this happens because most people just HATE HATE HATE (and White women especially) nerdy neck-beard White guys. All they represent — massive social, economic, political, and cultural CHANGE.I have some friends and family to whom I've recommended this blog. Just when I tell them that they should read the comments to see an adult discussion of HBD issues, this guy comes along and makes it look like a bunch of junior high school kids run the place.Is this guy a plant to derail discussion topics?

  6. Love hearing what you are up to. The photos are beautiful. The sky is so blue! How is the sky so amazingly blue in the States? It's so great. I've been a bit negative on the blog lately. Just a little dragged down by Manila and rainy season and the terrible air quality. Just from the insanity that is trying to live with little kids in the P.I. You know oh so well what I mean. Miss you.

  7. maylook 84 – When Stu and I toured the FSBO, he asked the seller if they’ve had much activity with folks looking at the house. Seller claims the open house the previous weekend attracted “at least 8 potential buyers”. They’re just waiting to hear back on them for interest.We happen to have a whole slew of friends in the immediate area who called BS on that claim. They were home all weekend and would have noticed that level of activity.

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