Review Summary: The incredibly anticipated, overdue (and long-awaited) release from one of the best bands of the 2000s. Assumed to either signify the death of The Strokes or deliver a triumphant return to glory, the boys from NYC manage to overcome the obstacles and eme2 of 2 thought this review was well written
This album continues to grow on me like a malignant tumor with each additional listening. At first I had a hard time digesting a majority of the tracks yet after further thought and assessment I now am in love with this album and consider it to be among their best work yet. I have been a fan of The Strokes since roughly 2001 or so, about a year before the British press (and NME in particular) yet again proclaimed another up-and-coming rock band to be the messiah and savior of the rock & roll scene. The immense buzz surrounding "Is This It" was well-deserved, admittedly (as was the hype for the debut LP from the Arctic Monkeys; a quite similar happenstance), because it's a damn great album.
After the disappointment I considered "First Impressions..." to be, the video and single release for "Under Cover of Darkness" before Angles officially dropped had me quite excited for what was to come. As a single, it is pretty much everything that makes the Strokes so unique and catchy - crafted into a 4 minute long pop gem. The guitar riffs and pinch harmonics ooze classic Strokes style and are a definitely welcome return to form.
While I am definitely of the opinion like some of the rest of you on here that there are a few week tracks, namely the (now clichéd) slow/experimental tunes that they seem to include on their albums now. But the good songs, of which there are several, are not just good - they are great. In my opinion Macchu Pichu is a serious contender for the catchiest song they've ever written. The layered riffs and little overlays dubbed throughout the song create an audio treat, especially on a quality pair of headphones.
Gratisfaction is another track that is bound to grow on you. The chorus has a means of getting stuck in your head for days. Taken For a Fool, You're So Right, Life is Simple in the Moonlight are also very good songs - and Metabolism, despite it's Juicebox/Heart in a Cage-esque bass riff has definitely come to agree with my listening tastes.
It's not as solid as an album as "Is This It?" is if you're judging it as an album to be played straight through - however some of the tracks on here are among the best in their catalog. I'd put it right on par evenly with "Room on Fire" and it's unquestionably a stronger effort than "First Impressions".
Very excited to see where this band goes from here.