Tuesday, March 22, 2011
The Strokes - Angles REVIEW
So The Strokes are back after a 4+ year disappearance. The new album is titled 'Angles' and is out as of today via RCA Records. I know a lot of Strokes fans are pretty happy to be getting a new record and some fresh material from these guys and I am one of those guys. My initial thoughts on this album are that I like it. I don't love it, I just like it. A part of me wishes I could love it like I have in the past with 'Is This It' and 'Room on Fire' but it seems more like a forced record and not one with a whole lot of passion. It is definitely better then 'First Impressions of Earth' and maybe just below 'Room On Fire'.
I have took several serious listens to this album and I just can't put my finger on what is missing or what is wrong with the album. I really wanted to love this and have it as an album that would compete with my top albums of the year but it is just not happening. I felt like there were 6 really strong and good songs but the other 4 songs just weren't that great and didn't seem to fit at all.
Machu Picchu is a very refreshing and hip Retro type of tune that was a great way to start off the record. 'Under Cover of Darkness' was the first single that we have all heard for the past month. It is a great song and definitely gives hints to The Strokes greatness, being a Is This It type of song. Very catchy and upbeat and the lyrics such as "Everyone's playing the same song for ten years" sure makes you think.
'Two Kinds of Happiness' has a great 80's vibe to it, and goes off really in a whole new territory as far as Strokes songs go. At first I was hesitant of this song and the sounds it portrayed but now I am actually really digging it and it is one of my favourites. You're So Right, just doesn't feel right. It sounds like it should be a B-side and nothing more. I guess you could call it a poor man's Take It Or Leave It but it would have to be an extremely poor man.
'Taken For A Fool' has a sweet intro with Julian showcasing his vocal talents. The song has a great flow to it and works well from start to finish. 'Games' is another one of those songs that just doesn't feel like it fits, it doesn't have the feel of a Strokes song, not sure what it is but just wasn't crazy about it. 'Call Me Back' is a very relaxed, mellow and chilled out tune, almost a depressing song that they don't care to even be playing.
'Gratisfaction' is pretty cool, has a great upbeat familiar sound to it. Almost makes me think of The Rolling Stones a little at first listen. 'Metabolism' has some cool guitar riffs and is a little bit of a darker type of song. Love the drums in this song. The last song on the album 'Life is Simple in The Moonlight' is a highlight track for me. It was featured on SNL and I thought it was pretty good then but the more I have listened to it now the more I am feeling it. It is just a complete song that goes back to basics which brings out that classic Strokes sound.
Overall Angles feels a little forced at times but also it offers some great songs and moments. It has a very Retro feel to it, and some what of a somber tone to it as well. It is almost like you can feel tension in the band through the songs and the album as a whole just doesn't mesh well. It will be interesting to see how the band does with this album and touring it, and if they can overcome their challenges and even stay together for any further Strokes work. I almost feel like Angles was just a forced record and everyone just threw their own ideas together and just put it in the record anyway they knew how. It is definitely not a polished album and one that you feel the bands chemistry.
If I had to rate this album I would give it a 7 out of 10. I really like the songs Under Cover of Darkness, Life is Simple In The Moonlight, Machu Picchu, Taken For A Fool, and Two Kinds of Happiness.
Angles Track Listing
1. Machu Picchu
2. Under Cover Of Darkness
3. Two Kinds Of Happiness
4. You're So Right
5. Taken For A Fool
7. Call Me Back
10. Life Is Simple In The Moonlight
Life Is Simple In The Moonlight (SNL Version)