Mar 26, 2013The Strokes’ hallmarks--those lean melodies, that steely interplay among guitarists Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond Jr. and bassist Nikolai Fraiture, the urgency of Julian Casablancas’s vocals--are largely absent on Comedown Machine, their fifth studio album. In their place is a looseness that’s refreshing enough, until you realize these guys are perhaps running short on ideas.
The GuardianMar 21, 2013For the most part, this sounds like a band running low on ideas, or motivation, or the indefinable magic that makes a band a band.
Mar 31, 2013Comedown Machine needs to be listened to more than once to make an informed decision. This is not an album that immediately screams genius,Comedown Machine needs to be listened to more than once to make an informed decision. This is not an album that immediately screams genius, like Is This It. It requires thought and an open mind to understand the purpose. CM stays true to the classic aura of the band; complex in its simplicity (I know this sounds like an oxymoron, but if you'll hear me out, I'll prove my point). Before anyone downloaded the LP or heard a single note, CM was subjected to a degree of prejudice and disregard that is unfair and ridiculous. Most critics, and fans, are not judging CM on its merits, but on the merits of Is This It or through the douchy hipster reaction to the bands' ITI hype (or the even more childish bias of socialism since the band came from an affluent background). It isn't fair to compare CM through the lens of Is This It because ITI is a masterpiece (regardless of what the cliche anti-establishment establishment says). That being said, Comedown Machine contains the same vibrancy and attitude of their former works, just in a new style for a new generation. The first time I heard the album, and the singles, I made the same mistake. I viewed CM throught the prism of Is This It and was disappointed by the differences. However the second time I listened, I noticed the large diamonds among the tracks: Welcome to Japan, All the Time, Partners in Crime, Tap Out, and 50/50. These songs are classic Strokes in their quality and intensity. The Strokes pack a lot of energy into 3 minutes without begging for attention. Their music leaves you feeling satisfied and eager for more; a state that few bands can achieve. Simplicity is the band's greatest asset. But, CM adds more to the formula.
On the third listen, I discovered the hidden gems of the album: Happy Endings, Chances, One Way Trigger, Slow Animals, 80s CM, and Call it Fate, Call it Karma. Each of these songs stands on its own ground, delving into complex emotions in the right way. The music combines 80s new wave punk with modern style and the Strokes's brand of rock. Somehow, these songs make perfect sense and add to the depth of the album, as long as the listener is willing to give in to the group's perspective.
I enjoy the sound, style, and energy of the album. It is consistent like Room on Fire with the potency of FIOE. The Strokes have a way of saying volumes with a simple musical gesture that is reminiscent of early 60s rock bands, like the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, and the Kinks. It is very difficult to be momentous and simplistic at the same time. The Strokes achieve that status without rubbing it in. In fact, the Strokes's attitude is like pissing on an a**hole's shoes to entertain your friends at a bar; you might gain a few new scars, but it's worth it for the memories. PS If you want to criticize the album, a few songs sound similar to other music. OWT's intro reminds many people of Aha's Take on Me, or some BS Mana song for Spanish listeners. I say, Who Cares! If we limit ourselves to only brand new ideas without any influences from the past, than pretty soon we will run out of ideas. Creativity combines elements of a person's personality with their perspective of the surrounding environment and reality. That being said, I don't believe the Strokes ripped off anything in CM. Does anyone honestly believe that Julian sat around one day and put on Aha and decided to remix it like some ridiculous rapper? Grow up people; the world's music catalog is gigantic and no one has heard everything or can remember everything he/she may have heard. The Strokes rock; if you care about the rest of the BS, then I feel sorry for you.… Expand
Jul 30, 2013I love this album, some songs completely keep to their original style "50/50 and Welcome To Japan." While others go in bold new directionsI love this album, some songs completely keep to their original style "50/50 and Welcome To Japan." While others go in bold new directions that were previewed in angles "One Way Trigger and 80 's Comedown Machine." The rest are somewhere in between and are all great!… Expand
Mar 28, 2013Wow... I stay impressed with The Strokes, totally different from their previous Albums, and believe you me not a bad thing; Tracks like "TapWow... I stay impressed with The Strokes, totally different from their previous Albums, and believe you me not a bad thing; Tracks like "Tap Out" "All The Time" 'One way Trigger" Even, "Welcome to Japan" Yes, I am telling you this Album is good very different but so damn good, Although, all of my friends are not happy with it, I still recommend it to you. And that is just half of the songs, the reason why you might have problems liking this album could be the fact that Julian keeps his voice higher in some of these songs, something we are not used to. "80 's Comedown Machine" almost made me cry by far, my Favorite from the Album. "Slow Animals" and "Chances" two more songs that prove this Album is Fantastic and The Strokes have not lost their touch. The last track, something completely different yet, I find myself relaxing and loving it just as much... Don't be so quick to dismiss this album, it is definately worth a second chance... Again, I recommend this to you.… Expand
Apr 19, 2013I think it’s safe to say at this point that The Strokes can no longer be called “predictable”. On their new album Comedown Machine it’s clearI think it’s safe to say at this point that The Strokes can no longer be called “predictable”. On their new album Comedown Machine it’s clear that The Strokes are still uncompromising stylistically like what's been hinted at on their last couple albums. While this album does go in a bunch of directions, one thing I’ll say about it as a whole is that this is The Strokes at their most soulfuost soulful. Which is kinda weird considering singer Julian Casablancas’ distinctly apathetic vocal approach he trademarked in their past work, which was honestly a gripe I had with some of it. But here he’s gotten a bit more expressive and it can really compliment certain songs. The instrumentation’s been amped up in that department too; opener Tap Out has a pretty R&B-influenced groove running throughout, and Welcome to Japan, dare I say, borders on disco (which sounds a lot better than you’d expect The Strokes doing disco to sound). But that’s (like I said) not the only direction they go in on this album. The first taste we got from it was an odd number called One Way Trigger. It’s got acoustic guitars, synths high in the mix, and Casablancas singing in falsetto, which is practically unheard off in the Strokes catalog. Needless to say it was very polarizing. But I really liked it; it's catchy & showed that their recent experimental approach was no fluke. Next taste & lead single All the Time on the contrary is very reminiscent of classic Strokes circa 2003. It’s basically to this album what Under Cover of Darkness was to Angles; a nice little throwback that’s engaging & doesn't come off as an uninspired & desperate attempt to keep older fans happy. But my favorite song here is probably 80s Comedown Machine, a gorgeous 5-minute track that sounds inspired by modern dream-pop bands like Beach House. It’s got a steady & dreamy groove throughout driven by reverb-tinged guitar picking leads & a restrained & unusually emotional vocal performance from Casablancas. It puts you in a very relaxed state of mind & leaves you wanting to play it again & again. A similar feel is successfully shot for on Chances, which is a bit bigger-sounding, has a more defined structure & shows the return of that infamous falsetto, which I think Casablancas pulls off quite well. Other styles delved into include energetic punk rock (50/50), mid-tempo indie rock (Slow Animals), synth-tinged early 80’s classic rock (Partners in Crime), dance-rock chock full of handclap goodness (Happy Ending) & a surprisingly lo-fi closing track in Call It Fate, Call It Karma, a percussionless & reverb-laden track I can see on a vinyl record spinning on a turntable in the background of a 1940’s B-movie. One thing that rings clear throughout all songs here though is that lead guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. has by this point pretty much mastered the art of the infectious guitar riff. And even the melodies presented in the solos get stuck in your head. There’s also a tight rhythm section running through this album that can really keep a groove going. I really have no gripes with this album. It represents everything I wanted in a follow-up to Angles; The Strokes just doing whatever they want & not giving a crap who likes it & who doesn't.
Top 5 tracks: 80s Comedown Machine, One Way Trigger, All the Time, Tap Out, Partners in Crime
Score: 95/100… Expand
Mar 26, 2013Though this is a lot different than Is This It, it's still a good album in my opinion. A few songs actually remind me of Is This It and AnglesThough this is a lot different than Is This It, it's still a good album in my opinion. A few songs actually remind me of Is This It and Angles (never listened to Room on Fire or First Impressions...). Again, in my opinion, still a good album.
Also, consider this a 7.5 instead of an eight.
No matter what they say, the last track rules...… Expand
Jan 10, 2015A diverse album that rolls along at a strong pace. Less of that 'same guitar and same vocal effect' formula of earlier albums, this offeringA diverse album that rolls along at a strong pace. Less of that 'same guitar and same vocal effect' formula of earlier albums, this offering hosts heeps of sexy sounding shenanigans along the ride. Some great vocals, and as a band, as strong as ever. If your looking for The Strokes in their youth, then forget it. This is the matured version, the composed version, the all new sleek version, the version that slaps you hard and say's we're back and don't forget it.
Thank you please… Expand
Apr 17, 2013I've heard a lot about this band and their supposedly amazing debut, but I haven't got around to listening to it yet. But I decided to giveI've heard a lot about this band and their supposedly amazing debut, but I haven't got around to listening to it yet. But I decided to give their latest release a try, seeing as it could well be the group's last album. Well, if that's the case, they're not going out with a bang. This is one of the weirdest albums I've ever heard barely audible voices, awful vocals, lyrics I can't make head or tail of, and a bunch of odd noises that send me reeling. It seems like something thrown together for a joke. The lead single, All The Time, is practically a crime against music. The only decent song is closing track, Call It Fate, Call It Karma, which is a beautiful ballad and a glimpse into what the album could have been. I've heard a lot of fans say that their debut was their opus and they slowly declined from there, so I'm surprised that most of them seem satisfied with this. I expected more effort from a final album.… Expand
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