Review: The Strokes Comeback After 7 Years w/ "The New Abnormal"

The Strokes have finally risen from their standstill and graced us with their sixth studio album today. After seven years too long following the release of Comedown Machine, this new record lives up to its fullest hype. Available on all streaming platforms, The New Abnormal gives us access to a methodical and tighter version of the New York City-based rock band. The 9-track album features much of their traditional sound, but dabbled with occasional musical references that suggest they’re having fun with the craft, too. Suddenly, Julian Casablancas’ words at midnight on New Year’s Eve—“The 2010s, whatever the fuck they’re called, we took ‘em off. And now we’ve been unfrozen and we’re back"—take on a whole new meaning.
The Strokes live debuted "The Adults Are Talking" during the Bernie Sanders rally in February
The album starts with “The Adults Are Talking,” which they live debuted at a charity show at The Wiltern in Los Angeles last May. The track gave us a preliminary peek into the developing sound of the band. Coupled with their familiar instrumentals and disjointed phrases, the track gives a nod to the olden days. The second single from the album, “Bad Decisions,” released in February, falls into this category as well.
"Bad Decisions" by The Strokes
Selfless” inevitably showcases the return of Casablancas’ signature vocals. The song beckons a lover who Casablances lays his dependency on. Mixed with catchy riffs and bass, the instrumentation adds to this sort of longing in the song. The chorus occupies its own sense of motivation: “Please don’t be long, 'cause I want you now / I don't have love without you around / Life is too short, but I will live for you.” Straying from this longing comes “Brooklyn Bridge to Chorus,” which contains instrumentation laden with heavy guitar and an underlying keyboard. Casablancas sings in a soulful reflection, coming to terms with his own nostalgia: “I want new friends, but they don’t want me / They’re making plans while I watch TV / Thought it was them, but maybe it’s me / I want new friends, but they don’t want me.” Other parts of the song pay tribute to Casablancas’ former drinking habits. His destructive behavior led to his decision of becoming sober in 2005. “One shot is never enough,” he sings. “I just wait for this to go into circles / And the distance from my room, is anything so necessary?” He sheds these memories in his own respective manner, which is, arguably, his new abnormal way of life. Another track that follows this trail is the closing song “Ode to the Mets,” which they live debuted during the New Year’s Eve show. Starting with a beat that rests in Casablancas’ intimate tone which we know all too well, the studio version contains six minutes of what is the biggest masterpiece in the record. With the inclusion of Casablancas’ low “Drums please, Fab,” there are a number of gems in this piece that are unmatched to any other song on the album. There is a particular riff just two and a half minutes in that sends chills through the entire body. This track encapsulates the band’s ability to hide complexities that are iconic in their own role.
Studio version of "Ode to the Mets" by The Strokes
The multi-year hiatus serves as a critical turning point for The Strokes, who are now launching their comeback in the 2020s with what could be considered one of the best releases of the year. There are not many words to embody that while this is definitely a 2020 favorite, it may as well be a decade one, too. The musical elegy to this synth-pop tone is a significant part of the record. Without losing his notable rasp, Casablancas illuminates much of the musical magic that The Strokes still uphold.

Karma Police - Please Share:

Most played songs

Last updated: 18 Apr 2021, 15:00 Etc/UTC