The Strokes
Angles


2.0
poor

Review

by Ryan Munthe USER (7 Reviews)
April 15th, 2011 | 38 replies | 3,957 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Strokes crap all over their legacy.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

It amazes me that in 2001 people crowned The Strokes as the band to save rock n’ roll. What’s more amazing to me is that in 2001, we also had the release of Jack White’s massive ‘White Blood Cells’ and Incubus’ ‘Morning View’ to fix the whole nu-metal situation. Wasn’t rock already saved? ‘Is This It’ merely served as the suckerpunch that the mainstream rock audience needed to finally break the grasp of nu-metal. ‘Is This It’ wasn’t this album full of magnificence; that album was an album full of guys having fun playing rock at volume 11. ‘Is This It’ was a great album. The Strokes, however, weren’t a great band. They were a band like The Darkness, that needed to make a statement, then fade away. They arrived on a gimmick; a wave; and Julian Casablancas realized that he could only milk garage-pop so far, things went awry. After their middling follow up albums dabbled in post-punk and mediocrity, we kind of realized The Strokes really weren’t the saviors of rock n’ roll.

This is an arguable point that we could go on over for hours; yeah, ‘Room on Fire’ was good, but it was forgettable and didn’t have the impact of ‘Is This It’. The Strokes revitalized the art of being cool rockers, and ‘Angles’ comes out in a time where the cool rocker is dead. An album like ‘Is This It’ wouldn’t fly in 2011 when everyone is too obsessed with Lady GaGa or Kings of Leon. Julian Casablancas knew this, so he got adventurous. He stripped the band down to the bone and re-built them. He made a bizarre album. This band has doomed themselves to purgatory with an album so divisive. If he was really insistent on bringing The Strokes back, he should have just refined the sound of ‘Is This It’. Because, while someone like me who was never a huge fan would have derided that decision as well, the original fans and the ones who left after ‘First Impressions of Earth’ would have came back. ‘Angles’ isn’t going to do anything for the fans that jumped ship the moment the awkwardly new wave ‘Earth’ hit. The fans that made them the biggest band in the world in 2001 won’t return on behalf of ‘Angles’. The Strokes kicked themselves square in the face, because they could have easily gotten those people back, but instead they made a weird new wave post-punk album that has a severe case of indecision. ‘Angles’ wants to be The Strokes, The Cars, R.E.M., The Rolling Stones, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Tears for Fears. The Strokes succeed in sounding similar to all these bands, but never really excel. They never carve out their own identity. ‘Angles’ has an identity crisis. It’s a cluster***.

I do enjoy songs such as ‘Machu Picchu’, ‘Under Cover of Darkness, and ‘You’re So Right’ for their nostalgia factor as well as their throwaway replayability and sheer fun aspect. They’re not great or memorable, but they’re good to blast in the car. ‘Machu Picchu’ and ‘Under Cover of Darkness’ are only fun because Julian Casablancas returns to the ‘Is This It’ blueprint to make some catchy tunes. And ‘You’re So Right’ is only listenable because it has it’s heart in The Jesus and Mary Chain or old R.E.M but creates a solid, new sound for The Strokes to explore. I read a great quote which sums up my entire issue with the album on Pitchfork’s review of the album: “Throughout, the album is hobbled by disconnections”. I really couldn’t agree more. Because the jumpy ‘Taken For a Fool’ does, in no way fit in well after the drab depression of ‘You’re So Right’. The electric drum set of ‘Games’ does in no way gel with Casablancas’ newfound jarring high-range. And have you heard ‘Gratisfaction’? It’s like the guys stumbled across a Rolling Stones B-side and poorly emulated it. I enjoy it when bands pay homage to their influences, such as in ‘You’re So Right’ where it teeters on influence and not imitation. ‘Gratisfaction’ is the most un-original copycat track I’ve ever heard. They should be embarrassed.

'Angles' has absolutely no identity in the slightest. The Strokes didn't know if they wanted it to be a garage pop album, an 80s alternative album, or a 70s classic rock. That's what makes 'Angles' ultimately so disappointing. The album never really develops any of the multiple sounds it attempts to introduce. There's no connecting identity between the songs, they all kind of sit uncomfortably next to one another with no connecting theme or feel. After listening, it's incredibly obvious that the entire band wrote the album because it feels like four different bands going at it. That's what ultimately makes 'Angles' a substantial failure. This also begs the question of whether The Strokes should have made this album in the first place. They're directly connected to the early 2000 boom of garage pop with The White Stripes, who recently hung it up because they realized they were out of place and realized that straying to far from their original sound would ultimately doom the band because of their place and relevance in a particular time period. They went out on top. By resisting the urge to release 'Is This It' Part II, The Strokes have doomed themselves to irrelevance. The fan who never came back isn't going to come back, and the aging fan wanting nostalgia who picked up 'Angles' just to hear his favorite band kick it one more time won't care about this band anymore. It's over, Julian. Hang it up gracefully before you become the 2000s version of Bush or Live.



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user ratings (775)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • mike2916 (4.5)
    The incredibly anticipated, overdue (and long-awaited) release from one of the best bands ...

    Kiet Truong (4.5)
    Two steps forward, one welcome step back...

    barnsgwj (3.5)
    Their best album since Is This It...

    garth (4)
    The Strokes, thankfully, make a record that they and we can be more than pleased with....

  • Jordan Speare (4)
    Welcome back gentlemen....

    octorock (3.5)
    The Strokes' first album in five years shows the band can still pull those old tricks....

    Tyler Fisher EMERITUS (4)
    Angles was never meant to be Is This It? for a new decade. Instead, Angles is the sound of...

    robin EMERITUS (3)
    so long my friend....

  • Andrew Kaster (4)
    The same Strokes on the outside, just the graphics, hardware, and modes of operation have ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
rjmunthe
April 15th 2011



395 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I'm anticipating a shitstorm of massive proportions.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
April 15th 2011



48540 Comments


I'm not a fan, but the kids seem to like it.

Digging: The Hotelier - Home, Like NoPlace Is There

WatchItExplode
April 15th 2011



3072 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I love the throwback sound personally and

The Strokes will forever be connected to The White Stripes.

I've never connected the two but I guess that works for your review...

This deserves a higher rating imo just because at least 2/3 of this album is SO DAMN FUN

rjmunthe
April 15th 2011



395 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

They're really similar musically and had similar impacts...

WatchItExplode
April 15th 2011



3072 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

such as?

rjmunthe
April 15th 2011



395 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

MTV was culturally relevant, and Fell in Love With a Girl dropped in 2001 as well. That music video was bigger than life.

We also had The Hives, The Vines, Darkness, etc. They all kind of had their impact and faded away. The Strokes
haven't...yet.

The review was too long or I would have touched on Casablancas's awful new singing style, too.

WatchItExplode
April 15th 2011



3072 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Also its very well documented that Casablancas took a step back on this record to allow his bandmates to make a bigger contribution to songwriting, js.

rjmunthe
April 15th 2011



395 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yeah, I know I should probably stop referring to him doing everything.

badhouses
April 15th 2011



64 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

the whole white stripes comparison in this review is overplayed, i'm reading it and i'm thinking okay why does he keep talking about this other band for no real reason. your insistence on framing both bands in some larger cultural context is also tiresome

why the fuck should they just stop making music because their "time has passed" or whatever you're trying to say here. if they enjoy making music they should keep making music regardless of whatever the current trends are

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
April 15th 2011



48540 Comments


The Strokes are my sister's favorite band.
I have to hear this shit all day.

WatchItExplode
April 15th 2011



3072 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Writing flows well, just feel those points are hollow. I'm really digging this right now though so whatevs...

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
April 15th 2011



48540 Comments


I like it better than their last two albums.
Is This It is great as well.

rjmunthe
April 15th 2011



395 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

casein, you are a fucking moron, your comments in the NIN thread are lolworthy don't make me post them

badhouses
April 15th 2011



64 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

cool don't actually respond to any legitimate criticism of your shitty review but respond with an ad hominem attack instead

post all of my comments and your responses i want to see a dumb person taking blatantly non-serious comments very seriously

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
April 15th 2011



48540 Comments


No fighting on the dance floor.

rjmunthe
April 15th 2011



395 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

it's not a shitty review, the white stripes are completely connected to the strokes you dumbass why would i need to explain it to you when i said it in the review thanks for trying though

they were part of a larger cultural context as well. you are too young to remember, probably

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
April 15th 2011



48540 Comments


I remember.
The Strokes, The Vines, The Hives, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and The White Stripes were all over the radio and MTV.

rjmunthe
April 15th 2011



395 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

i wasn't referring to you, but yes. you aren't an idiot like casein

badhouses
April 15th 2011



64 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

two bands were popular around the same time THEY MUST BE CONNECTED I'D BETTER MAKE A TENUOUS LINK BETWEEN THEM IN MY REVIEW

yeah sorry buddy but its a shitty review and don't try to play the age card when you're the one coming across as a 15 year old here

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
April 15th 2011



48540 Comments


Cool.



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