Angles

  • Record Label: RCA
  • Release Date: Mar 22, 2011
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 209 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 209
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  1. May 15, 2015
    7
    A good return to form.. and at the same time a good sign that the band is trying always something new. There are some killer tunes here (Taken for a Fool and Machu Pichu for example) and some great other songs as well (Under Cover of Darkness, Two Kinds of Happiness, Life is Simple in the Moonlight). All the other tracks are mostly good or ok, but what they lack is a cohesive idea thatA good return to form.. and at the same time a good sign that the band is trying always something new. There are some killer tunes here (Taken for a Fool and Machu Pichu for example) and some great other songs as well (Under Cover of Darkness, Two Kinds of Happiness, Life is Simple in the Moonlight). All the other tracks are mostly good or ok, but what they lack is a cohesive idea that holds them all tight. It's an album that does a lot of experimenting, but there doesn't seem to be an actual overall idea behind it, even though, as I said, most of the tracks are pretty fun to listen to. Expand
  2. Oct 22, 2014
    5
    Have to say, I was expecting a lot more from The Strokes after 5 years of not making an album. Albeit it a change in style and sound, there are far too many weak songs on Angles, especially in the latter stages of the album. I've given them plenty of chances over the last few years but they've never appealed to me. Despite this, 'Machu Pichu' is a flawless start to the record whichHave to say, I was expecting a lot more from The Strokes after 5 years of not making an album. Albeit it a change in style and sound, there are far too many weak songs on Angles, especially in the latter stages of the album. I've given them plenty of chances over the last few years but they've never appealed to me. Despite this, 'Machu Pichu' is a flawless start to the record which unfortunately only delivers false hope. The big single 'Under Cover of Darkness' is also a well crafted song, along with my personal favourite 'Taken For a Fool'. Expand
  3. Sep 25, 2014
    10
    Highly under rated, this album in the bomb digady and is cool beans. The albums got great songs on it that are as good as any other strokes songs. Buy this!
  4. 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!
  5. Oct 23, 2013
    8
    [8.3] I am quite certain that this album's lack of accessibility hindered its reception most of all. The album definitely features strong songwriting, and some very likable nostalgia that I honestly only think The Strokes could pull off. Their new style is almost reminiscent of some of the bar scenes in Star Wars (not to allude to something completely unrelated), and this sort of in the[8.3] I am quite certain that this album's lack of accessibility hindered its reception most of all. The album definitely features strong songwriting, and some very likable nostalgia that I honestly only think The Strokes could pull off. Their new style is almost reminiscent of some of the bar scenes in Star Wars (not to allude to something completely unrelated), and this sort of in the past while in the future idea that the album has is definitely complemented by traditional Strokes style on many of the songs on this album including Machu Picchu, Under Cover of Darkness, Metabolism, and especially Gratisfaction. Tracks like Games and Call Me Back certainly rely more on nostalgia, but are enjoyable nonetheless. Expand
  6. Mar 26, 2013
    5
    It's nice when a band makes a theme album, but Angles doesn't seem as if it was intended to be one. The entire thing sounds disjointed, and not by design, indicative of a recording process that was done largely without primary songwriter and frontman Julian Casablancas. Under Cover of Darkness shines as a throwback to the so-called "Golden Age" of The Strokes, but prog rock wannabeIt's nice when a band makes a theme album, but Angles doesn't seem as if it was intended to be one. The entire thing sounds disjointed, and not by design, indicative of a recording process that was done largely without primary songwriter and frontman Julian Casablancas. Under Cover of Darkness shines as a throwback to the so-called "Golden Age" of The Strokes, but prog rock wannabe "Metabolism" and "You're So Right" are notable low points. First Impressions of Earth showed that The Strokes can experiment a little and still possess that uncaring Strokes aura, but perhaps Angles takes that a bit too far. Expand
  7. Mar 22, 2013
    8
    Machu Picchu's opening line is ''I'm putting your patience to the test'', and they sure did. After 5 years the Strokes are back. A lot has changed. The Strokes already showed their 'dark side' on the mediocre First Impressions of Earth but really have given themselves some space to grow with this album. This turned out great. In most songs they retain the classic Strokes sound, whileMachu Picchu's opening line is ''I'm putting your patience to the test'', and they sure did. After 5 years the Strokes are back. A lot has changed. The Strokes already showed their 'dark side' on the mediocre First Impressions of Earth but really have given themselves some space to grow with this album. This turned out great. In most songs they retain the classic Strokes sound, while adding something fresh. The Strokes pulled it off extremely well considered what impossible situation they are in. If they would make an ''Is This It-remake'' everybody would complain about how they hadn't grown in 10 years, if they experiment with new sounds, everyone will complain about how unlike Is This It it is. Angles really got a lot of hate, but it's a great album. It will grow on you, I promise. Expand
  8. 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 newestI 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
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  9. Jul 6, 2012
    8
    In my opinion this is almost as good as Is This It, if not better. I love how many different styles they try out, from new wave to electronica to classic Strokes. I only give this an 8 because Call Me Back and Metabolism are just boring filler tracks. But every other track is great.
  10. Jun 24, 2012
    5
    Under Cover of Darkness, Taken for a Fool and Gratisfaction are the only great songs in Angles, the rest is complete and utter **** And even these three songs could have been a lot better, I'd say the recording style had a lot to do with it, the songs feel disconnected and at times nonsensical because of it.

    Truly a huge disappointment, I honestly thought this would be their comeback,
    Under Cover of Darkness, Taken for a Fool and Gratisfaction are the only great songs in Angles, the rest is complete and utter **** And even these three songs could have been a lot better, I'd say the recording style had a lot to do with it, the songs feel disconnected and at times nonsensical because of it.

    Truly a huge disappointment, I honestly thought this would be their comeback, guess I was wrong. Gratisfaction and Taken for a Fool seem like the only fresh tunes while still retaining some of that old Strokes feel to them.
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  11. May 24, 2012
    7
    After the bones of 5 years away the creators of Is This It return with their 4th album. Let's face it - The Strokes are never going to recapture the form that saw them deliver "Is This It" or even it's follow up "Room on Fire". It's a pity but I believe it to be a fact. With that in mind you have to take this album completley on it's own merits otherwise it will suffer in comparison. AllAfter the bones of 5 years away the creators of Is This It return with their 4th album. Let's face it - The Strokes are never going to recapture the form that saw them deliver "Is This It" or even it's follow up "Room on Fire". It's a pity but I believe it to be a fact. With that in mind you have to take this album completley on it's own merits otherwise it will suffer in comparison. All in all it's reasonably good. At 10 tracks its short enough that it manages not to have any bad tracks. This was a major fault of First Impressions Of Earth - too long leading to too much filler. Having no bad tracks doesn't mean its a great album though. It's got a couple of brilliant tracks and several good ideas but it's also got some strange moments that don't really go anywhere and manage to just thread water. Taking the best of this record with the best of First Impressions.... could have resulted in a really great record but instead what we're left with is 2 good enough records. Under Cover of Darkness is brilliant though - as good as anything they've ever done. I don't hold high hopes for their future albums however when the times comes for them to release a Best Of (which should be a brilliant record), Angles will have a couple of contributions. Expand
  12. 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.
  13. 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 directionI 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.
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  14. Oct 3, 2011
    7
    Angles has grown on me, going from a B- to a straight A. It was such a great decision to change their style a little bit after the somewhat disappointing First Impressions of Earth. Overall, Angles comes together beautifully and is one of the most underrated and unfairly overlooked albums of the past few years
  15. Aug 31, 2011
    8
    With the strokes being the best band on the planet at the moment I should have been looking forward to this album, but then I remembered their last attempt at an album, and what a colossal failure it was. When I first listened to the album I have to admit I wasn't too impressed, A couple tracks "under the cover of darkness" and "Gratisfaction" stood out, but the rest i thought were lazyWith the strokes being the best band on the planet at the moment I should have been looking forward to this album, but then I remembered their last attempt at an album, and what a colossal failure it was. When I first listened to the album I have to admit I wasn't too impressed, A couple tracks "under the cover of darkness" and "Gratisfaction" stood out, but the rest i thought were lazy attempts at riff driven indie-rock. That was what I thought, but I was wrong. Give this album the full attention it deserves and it will reward you. I grows on you, and after the third time of listening i thought "Wow, this really is a good album". "Machu Picchu" quickly became my favourite song from the record. "Taken for a fool" hit me as a superb song and "Life Is simple in the moonlight" became a very apt final track to a now brilliant album.
    I warn you don't judge a book by a cover, or, more relevant to this album, after reading it only once.
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  16. 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 theirFrom 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
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Jun 12, 2011
    8
    Really great album. Of course it is not an "Is this it" 2 but it's a good album for sure. The Strokes have changed in ten years but their still one of the best band of this decade. "Taken for a fool" and "Macchu Pichu" are the masterpieces of this album. "Life is simple in the moonlight" is one of their best tracks ever.
  20. Jun 4, 2011
    6
    The first signs were good, as pre-release single "Under Cover Of Darkness" was a classic stab of the lean and spiky pop of 2001, and with the benefit of Julian Casablancas' improved vocal, seemed to promise a new vitality we hadn't heard for about 10 years.Appetite whetted, it comes as a huge disappointment that "Angles" never once lives up to the promise of the leadoff single. Whilst notThe first signs were good, as pre-release single "Under Cover Of Darkness" was a classic stab of the lean and spiky pop of 2001, and with the benefit of Julian Casablancas' improved vocal, seemed to promise a new vitality we hadn't heard for about 10 years.Appetite whetted, it comes as a huge disappointment that "Angles" never once lives up to the promise of the leadoff single. Whilst not a bad recording, too much time apart forging their solo careers via subtle twists on alternative music has left the band creatively rudderless and their compositions limply hanging on by aping early 80s pop and new wave acts. An instant backfire arrives via the lightweight opener "Machu Picchu", where both guitars and drums attempt a clipped unconvincing dance rhythm and deliver what can only be described as the sound of a Nik Kershaw b-side to "Wide Boy", "When A Heart Beats" or something equally facile. If A-ha ever investigated where their influence has spread to, then look no further than "Games". Far more appealing is "Two Kinds Of Happiness" which recalls Ric Ocasek's Cars from around the "Panorama" era. The well reported internal frictions that existed and indeed delayed the release of this collection have undoubtedly had an effect on the final release, and the epitome of these pressures is highlighted on the tawdry ballad "Call Me Back", which reeks of half hearted commitment to the cause.To perfectly reflect the content of this recording The Strokes missed a trick. They should have added "Obtuse" in front of "Angles" for a perfectly descriptive product title. http://hackskeptic.com Expand
  21. 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
  22. 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.
  23. 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 recordingThis 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
  24. Apr 26, 2011
    8
    While this is by far not their best stuff, Angles still delivered exactly what I needed from The Strokes. Granted not all the tracks are amazing there are many stand out tracks that keep me coming back for more. Under Cover of Darkness and Taken for a Fool are just classic Strokes while Machu Picchu has a refreshing reggae feel. There isn't a single track on this album that is trulyWhile this is by far not their best stuff, Angles still delivered exactly what I needed from The Strokes. Granted not all the tracks are amazing there are many stand out tracks that keep me coming back for more. Under Cover of Darkness and Taken for a Fool are just classic Strokes while Machu Picchu has a refreshing reggae feel. There isn't a single track on this album that is truly disappointing. Overall this album was well worth the many listens I've given it, and the many more to come. Expand
  25. Apr 23, 2011
    8
    I don't understand the negative reviews for Angles, it is a fantastic reboot for one of the greatest bands of the century so far, machu picchu, under the cover of darkness and taken for a fool are all stand-outs
  26. Apr 12, 2011
    8
    If you like The Strokes the you'll like this album. Its upbeat and fun. Standouts include "Machu Picchu," "Two Kinds of Happiness," "Taken for a Fool," and "Metabolism."
  27. Apr 11, 2011
    8
    The new album is a very neat pack. Good music with a variation on it , the bands music feels somewhat different . Under cover of Darkness is the best on it,Life is Simple in the Moonlight great,Call me back is melodic. Keep it going Strokes.
  28. Apr 10, 2011
    3
    I had a feeling this was not a great record when the band reported that they were recording without Julian for a majority of the sessions. The result is exciting at times, interesting at others, but overall this album never really gets going. "Taken for a Fool' and "Under Cover of Darkness" sound like The Strokes at their best, but the rest of this album is forgettable. Hopefully,I had a feeling this was not a great record when the band reported that they were recording without Julian for a majority of the sessions. The result is exciting at times, interesting at others, but overall this album never really gets going. "Taken for a Fool' and "Under Cover of Darkness" sound like The Strokes at their best, but the rest of this album is forgettable. Hopefully, extensive touring will help them regain their swagger and comeback album #2 will be a much more impressive effort Expand
  29. Apr 9, 2011
    8
    It's a grower. when i first listened I have to admit I was disappointed. But, if given time it reveals the myriad of ideas contained within. This doesn't have the consistency of Is This It, but who wants a band to constantly repeat their hits? It sees Casablancas and Co taking some brave new directions and, if given time, will point all die-hard Strokes fans towards a bright new future.It's a grower. when i first listened I have to admit I was disappointed. But, if given time it reveals the myriad of ideas contained within. This doesn't have the consistency of Is This It, but who wants a band to constantly repeat their hits? It sees Casablancas and Co taking some brave new directions and, if given time, will point all die-hard Strokes fans towards a bright new future. We owe The Strokes that time, after what they've given us over the years. Taken For A Fool is the highlight... vintage Strokes. Expand
  30. 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 muchTHE 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.
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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. Q Magazine
    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]