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Old 04-10-2020, 12:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
TheBig3's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Posts: 9,649
Default The Strokes - The New Abnormal

From the Wikipedia:

The New Abnormal is the sixth studio album by American rock band The Strokes. It was released on April 10, 2020, through Cult and RCA Records. Produced by Rick Rubin, it was their first album in seven years, following Comedown Machine (2013), and their first release since the Future Present Past EP (2016).
This album is going to have more in common with Comedown Machine than it will Is this it? which has more to do with the band than the concept. On The New Abnormal the patience that comes with middle age and the veteran status of a well-seasons band comes through on many of the tracks, preferring for the slower-paced moment of a crooning style popular in the Sinatra era, rather than the anxiety-ridden bounce of a 1970's CBGB. It's clear that Rubin's presense as a Producer has pushed them into interesting new frontiers that we're all better off for having heard.

"At the Door", the first single off of the album displays the aforementioned crooner style heavily with jazz phrasings such as the octave-drop on the line "Lonely after light/You begged me not to go." The music, for it's part finds a fantastic space between highly electronic, and wisely sparse, the three concepts mixing to push the Strokes into a sound that has had mixed results from their fan base, but which undoubtedly has lead to highly emotive music from a bad historically noted for it's laconic disinterest.

The album overall is a lot peppier than At the Door would imply. And Hammond's guitar has more than a few flourishes of somber emotion that harken more to John Frusciante than they do to Mike Campbell or Johnny Marr. At times these two styles merge on tracks like "Not the Same Anymore" and combine to make some truely beaufitul music that seems to have the same longing from older tracks, with a perspective that suggests they've come to peace with it all. Still, the hallmarks of the Strokes are certainly still here. "The Adults are Talking" feels like a looser Reptelia from 2003's Room on Fire, and Julian, who's vocal style hasn't been copied or match in 15 years can still be picked out of a bad sound system at an overcrowded bar, forever existing at the intersection of "wish you were here", "I don't care", and "When are you leaving."

It's not all gems, certainly. "Bad Decisions" sounds like Billy Idol singing over Modern English's "Melt with you" riff for reasons that I can't understand. But overall I'd give this album a solid 7 out of 10 and I fully anticipate enjoying the numanaces of tracks after further listens.

Recommended Tracks:
1. Eternal Summer
2. Why are Sunday’s so Depressing
3. At the Door
4. Not the Same Anymore

Last edited by TheBig3; 05-16-2020 at 08:40 AM.
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