in Review

Angles in the Outfield

The Strokes – Angles

If we let any more time slip by I might just forget about this entirely. So remember how The Strokes hadn’t released an album since 2006 and everybody was like “What’s the hold up?” I even remember hearing rumors that guitarist Albert Hammond Jr being in rehab among other things. Regardless of what the hold up was we finally have a new album here in 2011, it’s called Angles and it’s okay.

I think it’s safe to say there was a great deal of hype around this album. “Could The Strokes really recapture the brilliance of Is This It? once more?” The band was claiming it was their best album since the previously mentioned classic, though I don’t agree with that. I’m disappointed that The Strokes didn’t go back to the catchy simplicity of Is This It? Though I do think they made up for it with some of their best musicianship yet. The arrangements are unpredictable and the production is sleek as usual.

Whereas I was anticipating something more of the lines of earlier Strokes’ numbers, Angles bares more of a similarity to Julian Casablancas 2009 solo release Phrazes for the Young. Most notably in the controversial “You’re So Right” which has been unfavorably compared to Julian’s solo track “River of Brakelights”. Personally, I enjoyed Julian’s solo album so similarities don’t bother me.

I remember being a little worried after First Impressions of Earth, that The Strokes were losing their creative spark. Sure, there’s some nice cuts on First Impressions but the melodies were definitely lacking and the arrangements just fine, not great. Angles is less of shock but still probably in the same boat. Though a definite highlight is “Under Cover of Darkness” which despite it’s ever-changing nature somehow remains catchy. “Taken For a Fool” is a cut I really enjoy. What a chorus, what energy, and what a spectacular showcase of this band’s ability to play off of each other so marvelously.

Though this album may not be the second coming of Christ, it’s adequate. I feel a little disappointed that The Strokes may never return to the sound of Is This It? but then I think “Well why would they need to?” A good band should learn to evolve and adapt their sound overtime and that’s just what The Strokes have done. Hopefully I don’t eat my words when the next Strokes’ album comes out.

Favorite Tracks: “Taken For a Fool”, “Under Cover of Darkness”, “You’re So Right”