The Strokes: Angles
When all is said, The Strokes were probably one of the biggest bands of the last decade. Their debut album, Is This It, garnered them critical and commercial success. What was more impressive was that the band managed to maintain that success with a successful sophomore album, Room on Fire and third album, First Impressions of Earth. However in 2007, the ban decided to take an indefinite hiatus. The hiatus last until the recent release of Angels, the band’s fourth album.
Angels is already a commercial success, reaching number four on the US Billboard 200. Critically, the response to the album has been mixed. Rolling Stone called the album, the band’s best since Is This It while Pitchfork called it “a glorified spit-balling session.”
The album’s lead single “Under Cover of Darkness” might make you believe Rolling Stone’s take on the album. The track is arguably the band’s best single since 2002’s “Someday.” It combines the jaunty guitar sound of “Last Nite” with the insouciance of a NES video game soundtrack. While the song is fun, it does not exactly break new ground for the band.
When the band does break new ground, it sounds exactly like that spitballing session that Pitchfork describes. “Two Kinds Of Happiness” has a bad 80s vibe that reminds me of Loverboy‘s “Everybody’s Working for the Weekend.” “Call Me Back” adds an awkward time signature changing breakdown into its No Doubt “Don’t Speak”-esque guitar line.
The album graciously closes with the lifeless “Life Is Simple In The Moonlight.” The track sounds as disinterested as the band sounds while making this album. When the band was apart there were plenty of questions of whether or not they would ever make a fourth record and it is apparent why when listening to Angles. In most places the album sounds like a band that is out of ideas and out of energy.
MP3: The Strokes “Under Cover Of Darkness”
Buy: iTunes or Amazon
The Strokes: Angles