April 5, 2011

The Strokes - Angles

I have to admit, the announcement of a new Strokes album last January wasn't terribly thrilling. I didn't like First Impressions that much, although it has some really good songs (Jukebox, Fear of Sleep), and I figured that this would be a similar trail of boring melodies and over-produced songs. But the release of their excellent lead single Under Cover of Darkness is what got me all giddy. That and it's similarly great b-side You're So Right. But I guess I was tricked. Unfortunately nothing else on the album matches up to the exuberance of those two songs. Almost everything else takes an unexpected 80s approach, which doesn't settle with me at all, especially on 'Two Kinds of Happiness' and 'Games'.

Although I have to say, the opener 'Maccu Piccu' is a damn catchy track, and the power beats and synths are simmered down just enough to make it enjoyable. 'Taken for a Fool' is a good little number too. 'Metabolism' is decent, but it tries too hard to be the cool, out-of-place track, however 'Gratisfaction' is the most unfitting one here, with its poppy beat and happy guitar strums, and those tracks just happen to be elaborately placed right next to each other.

Angles closes on a slightly positive note (positive compared to the previous tracks) with 'Life is Simple in the Moonlight', a pretty neutral track that sounds nice with the rest of the album, but pretty boring alone. Another thing to add is that Casablancas has lost his attitude almost completely here, which is partially why I loved them so much in the first place. No more screaming into the mic for this guy I guess.

Overall, it's just descent. 'So decent' would sound too much like a compliment.
You literally can't even compare their music with anything from Is This It anymore. The songs are all polished and shiny now. But then again, they're evolving, that should be a good thing. So I guess it would be naive to say that I WANT THE OLD STROKES BACK!!! Especially in all caps like that. But I think that this case is different.

1. Maccu Piccu
2. Under Cover of Darkness
3. Two Kinds of Happiness
4. You're So Right
5. Taken for a Fool
6. Games
7. Call Me Back
8. Gratisfaction
9. Metabolism
10. Life is Simple in the Moonlight


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