One of my most anticipated releases of the past few years finally hits stores today, The Strokes‘ 4th album “Angles“. The magic of the Strokes is really hard to put in words, their main draw is the fact that they make un-pretentious Rock music that’s just fun. They don’t try to pad their lyrics with deeper meanings, and they don’t try to stretch their sound in directions they aren’t comfortable with. They just do what they know they are good at, which delivers some classic material. This album pretty much delivers the same, but not quite in the way one would expect. For the most part “Angles” stays true to their original sound, with tracks like “Under Cover of Darkness” “Taken for a Fool” and album closer “Life Is Simple in the Moonlight”. However the group throws in some curve balls to their sound, like “Games” (which is not one of my favorites) takes on a 80’s Pop vibe at points, where as “Two Kinds of Happiness” is reminiscent of The Cars’ new wave sound. And total stand out, “Machu Picchu” gives off a early Police vibe in the mixture of Rock and Reggae. This experimentation for the most part works, because they mainly stick to their own sound but just highlighted by these new tricks. And since the majority of the album is them sticking to their roots, it still feels like they are being themselves.
The album leaves you feeling like they delivered another good Strokes album that will fit nicely into their discography. That’s mostly because of the fact that they didn’t seem to feel the need to prove anything to any listeners. A lot of groups who haven’t recorded together for over 4 years would probably feel pressure to make their “comeback” a Masterpiece album, The Strokes seemed to want to give their fans what they were used to. And you can’t really fault them for that, it just feels like they wanted to gather more great songs for their upcoming tours, and if that was the purpose of the album they succeeded.