The Strokes: 'The New Abnormal'—The boys are back in better shape

Monday, April 13, 2020
The Stokes New Abnormal  - Metroscene Mag

Seven years have passed since the indie rock connoisseurs released their last album 'ComedownMachine.' But now that 'The New Abnormal' is available worldwide, can we finally say that the latest album is worth the wait?

Let me assure you right now: The Strokes are back, and they’re in better shape than ever. After a decade of experimentation, The Strokes have found their sweet spot. The New Abnormal is a result of band mates working together in harmony. As such, they have produced one of the most  cohesive albums in their discography.

The New Abnormal garners a few bits and pieces from its predecessors: the transformative
change in sound from First Impressions of Earth, 80s new wave influences from Angles, and consistent melody from Comedown Machine. 

Combine every positive attribute of each album, and you'll get a delightful tracklist of ear-pleasers that welcomes old and new fans alike.

You'll even hear a bit of The Voidz in a few tracks, including The Adults Are Talking—thanks to the perfect blend of synths and garage rock riffs.

The album's first track, The Adults Are Talking, is a perfect opener that serves as an
introduction to the band’s newfound maturity in both sound and lyricism.

With lines such as “They've been saying you're sophisticated they're complainin' overeducated” and “Same shit, a different life you'll get it right sometime”, it’s clear that the rock veterans aren’t just singing about New York City anymore.

The band’s maturity is even more evident in the second-to-last track “Not The Same Anymore”,
where Casablancas delivers the lines in a clear-cut manner, “Don't wanna play that game anymore you'd make a better window, than a door.” You could either interpret such lines as The Strokes wanting to move on from their post-punk revival fame or perhaps as a jab to Alex Turner’s opening lyrics in “Star Treatment” saying he “wanted to be one of The Strokes.”

However, The New Abnormal isn’t a perfect album by any means. The second half of the tracklist could benefit from more upbeat songs, similar to “Bad Decisions” or “Brooklyn Bridge To Chorus”—both of which derive from 80 influences with artists such as Modern English, Billy Idol, New Order, and Cutting Crew. 

The good news is that mellow tones of “Why Are Sunday’s So Depressing” and “Ode To The Mets” are more than enough to make up for it.

The Strokes are no longer the early 20s New Yorkers the world has known for almost two
decades. They’re all grown-up, and so is their music. While it may not be their best album (yet), it’s the band’s most thrilling release since Room On Fire.

Listen to The Strokes and their latest album The New Abnormal, now available on Spotify.

For more music similar to The Strokes, try listening to these albums:

Text By: Carlo Angelo Suñga

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