The Strokes
The New Abnormal


4.0
excellent

Review

by dedex USER (24 Reviews)
April 10th, 2020 | 358 replies


Release Date: 04/10/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The 2010s, whatever the fuck they’re called, we took ‘em off. And now we’ve been unfrozen and we’re back.

Seven years is a mighty long time, innit? Even more so when your last appearance alienated fans who could not find the cocky nonchalance from Is This It and Room on Fire. Whether or not you enjoyed Angles or Comedown Machine, these records did not manage to make a lasting impression. Julian Casablancas seemed absent, mumbling "I don't care"-type lyrics while the music had the unfortunate tendency to make you nod off. This time around, the band took the time they needed. Writing sessions dated as far back as 2016 and opener "The Adults Are Talking" was first played live in 2019. With more time at their disposal, the 2001 hipsters' favourite band returns with their best album in 15 years.

Figurehead of the band, Julian Casablancas returns to its former status as charismatic leader distilling lyrics mixing cold pragmatism and warm hope, all sung with conviction by a voice only asking to be accompanied by thousands of others. After sounding distracted in the most recent Strokes' records, he now seems ready for the challenge. Sailing between synthethiser-enhanced vocals, understated yet not underwhelming whispers and his improved falsetto, Casablancas is fully committed to one goal only: make The Strokes great again.

This mission is also pursued by the four other musicians. Beyond all sonic consideration, they got their inimitable indie rock swagger back, incorporating 80s synthpop waves reminiscing once more of a sleek past reclaimed by the present. These nods to the past have always been the essence of the band, pastiching indie icons' style and idealizing an already evanescing golden era. Arriving at a crossroads in their lives, they realize that this nostalgia is now fully theirs, not necessarily that of a time they would have liked to have known. They are now yearning for their own youth. The best way to pay homage to your past is to live your present to the fullest, so the band decide to simply go for it and play catchy melodies and dancing beats.

This new album is not revolutionary by any means. Rather it succeeds where the last few failed: being enjoyable and full of catchy tunes. These two characteristics are what made The Strokes famous in the first instance. It also brings back a core argument in the band's success: coolness. This record is cool at its core, fueled with breezy tunes to spend your post-quarantine parties to. What if the new abnormal is that The Strokes release such a swell album in 2020?



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user ratings (400)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
dedex
April 10th 2020


4614 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

dem I was productive today, thx once again to the dexfrerot for being my grammar bro



it's a fun ride, all go aboard

Digging: Damso - QALF

unclereich
April 10th 2020


6654 Comments


haha glad you wrote this up so fast! great review and couldn't agree more with the rating. pos :]

dedex
April 10th 2020


4614 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

yeaaaah I wanted to powermove this one before someone from staff/contrib snatched it



I wasn't expecting such a cool record, feels very good to see them back

parksungjoon
April 10th 2020


21674 Comments


christ you're a machine. will read shortly

WatchItExplode
April 10th 2020


8281 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm a huge Strokes fan. I definitely found some worthwhile moments, but first impression was Strokes by the numbers with 300% more falsetto. Not quite doing it for me but I'll give it a chance to grow.

NorthernSkylark
April 10th 2020


10355 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

enjoyable enough, but still can't believe that average

Digging: Portishead - Roseland NYC Live

DoofDoof
April 10th 2020


8512 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The first song is twice as good as any other song here.



Some albums might get away with that - this one doesn't

klap
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2020


12323 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

^^^accurate

Digging: Bright Eyes - Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was

WatchItExplode
April 10th 2020


8281 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

x3



Also Comedown Machine is a killer and y'all are dumb.

JohnZapp
April 10th 2020


44 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is super addictive. Sounds like they corrected Comedown’s faults, Jules learned from the success of the Voidz, and they all came together to sprinkle a lot of past elements into one

DoofDoof
April 10th 2020


8512 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

If this was 2003 that album cover would scream CD bargain bin



So at least they're spared that indignity

botulist
April 10th 2020


529 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

album cover is a bad basquiat ripoff. songs aren't any better.

dedex
April 10th 2020


4614 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

idk I vibe hard to this



and ackshually it's a Basquiat painting

DoofDoof
April 10th 2020


8512 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It looks like the front cover of a pamphlet you get from an art exhibition agreed

dedex
April 10th 2020


4614 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

that is also true

DoofDoof
April 10th 2020


8512 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

'The 2010s, whatever the fuck they’re called, we took ‘em off. And now we’ve been unfrozen and we’re back'



Fact check: the band actually released two sub par albums in the 2010s.



Nice sentiment tho :3

IsildursBane44
April 10th 2020


206 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Loving this right now. Easily the best album since the debut, even though room on fire, and first impressions of earth are still good.

Digging: Sonic Youth - Goo

unclereich
April 10th 2020


6654 Comments


at least there's no ass on the cover

Doibhin69
April 10th 2020


766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Catchy Stuff



brainmelter
April 10th 2020


7128 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The Strokes - The New Disappointment

great write up though! pos’d

Digging: Daumier - untitled



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