Angles - The Strokes
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 155 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 155

Review this album

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Mar 23, 2011
    10
    I was disappointed with this album when I first listened to it. Now it's grown on me with a vengeance. I absolutely love it. Taken for a Fool is easily one of the best songs, with it's fantastic chorus. Games, the most unnerving departure from The Strokes' norm, is now one of my favourite songs. Life is Simple in the Moonlight has a unique atmosphere of distant sincerity and regret. Not to mention Under Cover of Darkness, easily the best individual Strokes song since the Is This It era. Expand
  2. Jul 19, 2011
    10
    First heard this when I was on the plane, and stumbled across it when amidst deep boredom. An electrically absorbing and impressively composed slice of indie culture. Not really indie, though. Best track is Machu Picchu, and the other truly memorable ones are Taken for a Fool and Gratisfaction.
  3. j30
    Jul 20, 2011
    9
    From the opening bass line of Machu Picchu I was blown away. This is a return to form from a band I thought would never see the studio again (First Impressions of Earth sounds like a breakup album). Julian Casablancas being more open and not overseeing everything the band was doing was just the ticket. Listening to their previous albums before this one, I honestly believe this is their best album since Is This It and could be the best rock album of the year. I don't understand why fans are so disappointed in an album that captures everything we love about The Strokes. Under the Cover of Darkness and Taken for a Fool sounds like they could have come off of Is This It. The rest sounds like a better version of Room on Fire. It feels like Phoenix's Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, it catches you from the beginning and never lets go. The perfect summer album. Expand
  4. Mar 22, 2011
    9
    On the back of lead single "Under Cover of Darkness", one would be excused for expecting a stylistic return to The Strokes brilliant debut Is This It. It didn't come. Though it's the most experimental the band has ever been, it's still a polished, dynamic album that seems certain to age just as well as Is This It.
  5. Jun 1, 2011
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This album merges both the essential character of the Strokes but also excellence in creativity retrieves the album Is this It. I love this album. There are traces of the style of the band Muse in Metabolism, can repair. Expand
  6. Mar 23, 2011
    9
    People are sure to compare The Strokes' latest album to their 2001 debut, 'Is This It?', and it's quite understandable. However, over the last decade, the New York rockers have really changed their sound. Looking back on the chronology of their albums, you can begin to see the change in sound from their days of 'Last Night', '12:51', and 'Reptilia', into the more retrospective tone that you hear in their latest album. While their third album, 'First Impressions of Earth' was a lot more experimental, the main problem with this was that it really isolated fans of their old sound from fans that were more accepting of the change. Their fanbase was split between their new, growing electronic sound and the old school strum and drum of their debut and sophomore album. While the band went into Hiatus, it was clear that some members were more responsible for this change more than others. You can hear a lot of similarities in Julian's solo album, which takes the path of electro rock rather than alternative. However, there is also the fact that Julian was not even in the studio when the instrumental recordings took place. Not that there is anyone to 'blame' for this album, it's a great piece of work, if not a touch discombobulated. First things first, they seem to have made quite a mistake in ordering the album. The opening song 'Macchu Pichu', is reminiscent of 80's pop in its verses, with an extremely catchy chorus and bridge. It'll have you nodding your head along as the song bops away. However, this is not the kind of song you'd expect to open up one of the most anticipated albums this side of the decade. Followed up by the lead single 'Under Cover of Darkness', this is much more like the original Strokes sound. Fun riffs, classic Julian vocals, twin guitars, and a slip n' slide solo. The following two songs 'Two Kinds of Happiness' and 'You're So Right' are much more hit or miss. The former being more of a poppy ballad with a catchy chorus, and the latter sounding a lot more dark and brooding, much like First Impressions' 'Juicebox'. One of the only songs to make it past the initial production of the album was the fifth song 'Taken For A Fool'. The twins guitars busting out the rhythms in the verses are very mellow, while the chorus picks up the pace and the rip-roaring wail of Hammond Jr.'s guitar makes it flow with Julian's almost half-bored sounding vocals, which is signature for him.

    'Games' is a lot more of what The Strokes seem to be heading toward. Much more electronic in sound, but no real substance behind it. These guys sure have a knack for making their instruments sound like computer generated ones, and while this is good for some, it's a really isolating factor for fans of their old sound. 'Call Me Back' is a more ballad-like, more sincere sounding piece, and one of the songs where you can really hear the emotion in every sound. 'Gratisfaction' is without a doubt the best song on this album. It combines the classic sounds these guys produced a decade ago with their current fixation with electronic sounds. Poppy all the way through, it'll have you whistling with the verse's riff, and singing along by the chorus, even if you don't know the words.

    The closing songs 'Metabolism' and 'Life Is Simple In The Moonlight' are seemingly the two most introspective songs on the album, bringing out a sort of 'emotionless emotion' that is Julian Casablancas' voice. He broods over the ripping guitars in 'Metabolism', seeming to croon his emotions in an almost lullaby-like voice. While in 'Life Is Simple', he seems a bit more reserved, but still puts a mysterious sort of feeling into this song. The closing song is where Fabrizio's drumming really shines through in the album. Filling the gaps between verse and chorus flawlessly. Hammond's final solo really pulls the whole piece together, making it one of the best closing songs I've heard on any album.

    The only significant problem I found with this album was the fact that the lineup is very convoluted, not really settling on any one sound for long before moving on to another. However, this can be fixed simply by rearranging the songs to your liking

    Overall, this album will never live up to 'Is This It?', but on its own merit, this album is more than good, it's great. And while it will continue to divide fans of the group between their old and new sound, it really stands to be the best combination of the two, bringing them together and creating a fun and introspective album that will stand the test of time.

    People will continue to compare 'Angles' to The Strokes' debut album, but it's almost like comparing apples to oranges at this point.
    Expand
  7. Mar 28, 2011
    10
    Best album in 5 years by the best band of all time. More of a grower than the previous, but that's a very cool thing. All of their music lasts, and they've never made a bad song. Check it out.
  8. Mar 28, 2011
    9
    I loved this album from the the first listen. Such a diverse album with every song being so different from the other one. Room on Fire tried to hard to replicate Is This it? while First Impressions of Earth was 4 songs too long and a lot of them missed the mark. Angles is short, to the point and experimental in the best way. The songs don't run into each other, the guitars play off each other extremely well, Julian sounds more interested than First Impressions of Earth, and Fab and Nick continue to provide transcendent rhythm. Angles has a huge 80's throwback feel throughout and the Strokes execute it with expert precision. The melodies and chord progressions flow so smoothly throughout the album, while the patented Valensi and Hammond Jr. solos strike cleanly and flawlessly. If you are looking for Is this it? you will be disappointed but if you listen to Angles without pre-conceived judgment and expectations you will be rewarded. Listen as if you're listening to a new band; forget the past hype, forget the old albums, open your mind and this will become on of you're favorite albums, guaranteed. Expand
  9. Apr 7, 2011
    9
    THE STROKES!! I love this new album...from the moment i heard the first track I loved it. The album starts off great with 3-4 great tunes...if you don't like the first few songs than you are most likely not going to like the album...also if you were expecting "Is this It 2" you probably aren't going to like the album much either. This is not The Strokes from 2001...These guys sound much different here...I feel like the whole album has a kind of Stokes meet The Cars kind of vibe to it...Even the album cover looks like something that would be in my parents record collection from the 80's. Nevertheless this is a great album. I will admit I am a bit bias since I LOVE this band and i have enjoyed all 4 of their albums (I will say that I felt Room on Fire was their weakest effort). I really like how the band has grown...It would have been really easy to just make another "Is This It" (and truth be told that is what a lot of fans want) but they decided to go the opposite direction..ditching the heavy rock/guitar rock for something different and new. I for one am pleased with the results. This album may sound a bit different than some of their others...but the songwriting is just as great and catchy as the rest.

    This was my first review...I hope it was somewhat helpful.
    Expand
  10. Apr 28, 2011
    10
    This album is SO 80S! AND I **** LOVE THE ENTIRE THING! It is very catchy, really. I don't see what everybody is complaining about- what's so wrong about the **** album, it is very interesting, very different than their previous sound but still reminiscent. I **** love this band, and I **** love the synth pop sounds they came up with. Even though they were struggling during the recording of this album, I still enjoy the tone of this album, they did a great job and I hope they do another album very soon. Expand
  11. May 18, 2011
    10
    A fantastic album, drawing from unique elements and showcasing Casablancas's voice as well as the bands' songwriting. In each song you can find the musical growth of this incredible band.
  12. Jul 2, 2011
    9
    Overall the album has some great songs, "Taken for a fool" is an absolute winner with amazingly catchy riffs and a great melodic chorus, "Under cover of Darkness", "Gratisfaction" and "Macchu Picchu" are also really catchy interesting songs, however I felt that most of the rest of the songs were unfortunately noticeably lacking something.
  13. Dec 30, 2011
    9
    Over time the album has grown on me. I can now say that a majority of the album is near-perfect. There might be one forgettable song, but the rest makes up for it. "Machu Picchu", "You're So Right", "Taken for a Fool", "Gratisfaction", and "Under Cover of Darkness" are the highlights of the album. It is definitely worth the 5 year wait.
  14. Dec 24, 2011
    10
    I give this album a 8/10, but had to give it a 10 on MetaCritic to make up for the amateur music fans who gave it low reviews. No matter how much you hate The Strokes, a 3/10 is just unacceptable. Have you been hanging out on Pitchfork too much? Come on.. last place to take review advice. Anyways, this album (as i mentioned 8/10) is very solid. They take a poppier, more colorful direction with it, but they make it work. The great thing about any Strokes album is that there's no such thing as a bad song. They are incapable of making a bad song because with a combination of Albert Hammond Jr. and Nick Valensi on guitars, you are set.. Angles can be almost completely listened to from beginning to end without a skip. I say almost because You're So Right. Never let Nikolai push his songs into a Strokes album. I think that was a great lesson for everybody. So this is what keeps it from being another flawless album. As mentioned before, You're So Right is one thing that keeps it from perfection. To have a flawless album, every single song has to be great, and being The Strokes, you are already set to incredibly high standards after ITI and ROF.

    The other thing holding it back from a flawless score is the fact that certain songs in the album don't have the Strokes touch. Take Games and Call Me Back for example. Great songs, but they are songs other bands could potentially make. They would work if they were on an Arctic Monkeys or White Stripes album, but your entire music depends on your certain style. The fact that so many try to imitate them and fail is what makes the Strokes so unique. So, when you have songs like Games and Call Me Back, you're just making songs that other bands can make. So this is the fast and simplified version of the review, but you get the gist of it. It's a great album with really intricate guitar play and the usually tightly timed Strokes style in most songs, but it just misses the beat on a few occasions, which keeps it from being flawless.

    (8/10) PS. After a good 8 months, UCOD is sounding better than before. Go listen to it again.
    Expand
  15. Jul 21, 2012
    9
    I applaud The Strokes for switching things up and integrating different sound elements into some of their songs. At first, I only liked a few of the songs on the album and thought the rest were all right, but it has definitely grown on me. I absolutely love the album now. 'Angles' definitely takes some risks, but anyone who liked 'Is This It' will surely enjoy the band's newest album--it grows on you!
    Favorite tracks: Taken for a Fool -and- Life is Simple in the Moonlight
    Collapse
  16. Nov 11, 2013
    9
    Underestimated and misunderstood. I love this album, the rhythm, the instruments... cool! I think this is one of their best. The julian's voice in this album give me some orgasms. God!
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 41
  2. Negative: 1 out of 41
  1. May 10, 2011
    60
    The result is mixed and at times strained, but a spark still lies within.
  2. 60
    When all is said and done, Angles could make for an exciting introduction to a new chapter for The Strokes, or it could be a disappointing swan song.
  3. May 2, 2011
    80
    Angles fits 10 songs into a brisk 34 minutes and doesn't waste time gunning for gravitas. [Apr 2011, p.92]