Comedown Machine - The Strokes
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 147 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 147

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  1. Mar 27, 2013
    9
    Please do yourself a favor and listen to this album, and try not to compare it to Is This It or Room on Fire because the similarities are minimal. Instead, the Strokes have a produced a thoughtful and strange record that is an absolute blast. It's a fantastic record, and I thoroughly recommend it. Standout tracks like "Tap Out" and "Welcome to Japan" flow greatly into slower pieces like "Slow Animals" and "Chances". No obvious skips, just a great album. Expand
  2. Mar 26, 2013
    9
    It's very different from other albums, but it's really really really good! :D the "Old Strokes fans" are probably going to be pissed, but i sincerely think it's a great album.

    Songs like "All the Time", "Tap Out", "Slow Animals", the punk "50/50", the ballad "Chances" and even the odd "One Way Trigger" are enough to make this album a great piece of music.

    Totally recommend it!
  3. Mar 27, 2013
    10
    For me, Comedown Machine is The Strokes best album since Is This It. All the songs on the album gel together perfectly and unlike previous albums, every song (with the exception of 80's Comedown Machine) is extremely enjoyable. My personal favourites from this album are 50/50, Partners in Crime, All The Time, Slow Animals, Happy Endings and One Way Trigger.
  4. Mar 26, 2013
    9
    This album makes it clear that The Strokes weren't simply trying to emulate a specific genre of the late 70s and 80s, but the entire decade. Keep that in mind while listening.
  5. Mar 28, 2013
    10
    Wow... 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
  6. Mar 27, 2013
    9
    I love bands like The Strokes, bands that change over the course of their career, band that don't stuck or stay on their comfort zone, once the created a sound, and keep releasing the same albums all over again. Every album by this band is quite different from the last one. What if The Strokes keep releasing Is This It? for the same 10 years? Then people would be complaining about it, and why they're releasing the same songs for a decade. Although is quite different from what they've done before, is still The Strokes sound, it's a great album, with the exception of the title track, which I found it lil' bit boring, that's why I'm givin' it a 9/10. Thank you Strokes for evolving and being innovative and not being stuck. with the same sound. Expand
  7. Mar 26, 2013
    9
    This is it, their finest album since their debut. I was apprehensive when I first heard (in January) that the album's release was in March. Seemed to me like they rushed their final, contract-obligated album out the door to escape RCA (for whatever reason), but that's simply not the case. The Strokes sound like they're having a blast in this album. It's not love at first listen like "Is This it?", but I'll be damned if it doesn't include some of their best and catchiest work to date. The songs are varied, unpredictable, and exhibit an unwillingness to conform to the recent waves of "pop" and "alternative" (not that there's anything wrong with those). It's not like this album is "mainstream" or "genre-defying" because, as one critic aptly puts it, "[This] is The Strokes' 1980s album," and it certainly is. I don't know if this is The Strokes' ode to a bygone era of music, or simply their new direction as musicians, but it doesn't matter. The album shines from beginning to end, only faltering once or twice along the way (in the middle of the album specifically). I'm not going to review each track individually, the album is made the be listened to as a whole, but I can mention some standouts: "All the Time" perhaps an ode to their original fans, this is the most "Strokesy" song on the album, "Partners in Crime" some of the riffs here remind me of a Tom Petty song, "Welcome to Japan" I had heard somewhere Julian Casablancas (you better know who he is) was a big fan of David Bowie, here it shows, "Slow Animals" this was the first song I heard and could instantly FEEL it, kind of when I listen to The National, and finally "Chances" this is a slower one, and maybe this one just rings true for me but it's a great breakup song. The rest of the album leaves nothing to be desired either. It's a unique, fun, full sounding record that really shows how far The Strokes have come as musicians. Don't listen to the haters who say this isn't The Strokes anymore; of course its not. It's been 12 years since "Is this it?" people; how many of you haven't changed over the same period, be it for better or worse? Thankfully, The Strokes seem to be changing for the better, maturing in an unexpected but pleasantly surprising way, leaving me excited for what they'll do next. Let's just hope the end of the RCA record label doesn't mean the end of The Strokes (and I can't live a fulfilled life knowing I'll never see them play the final minute of "Welcome to Japan" live--preferably in Japan). Expand
  8. Apr 10, 2013
    10
    How do I know a rock record is worth a listen? Pitchfork trashes it. The Strokes are not cool anymore and this obvious to anyone with a Vice subscription and some sharply styled oxfords. But who cares what's cool? This is a very good record. The 80's synth pop/new wave influence is obvious but it's layered on top of the Strokes sound of old. Casablancas has evolved his vocals and at first I wasn't vibing all of his different stylings on the record...it was a little too all over the place. But after a few listens I realized that it fits with the songs well, and it wasn't done simply for the sake of diversity. He pulls it off. The rest of the band comes as expected if not surprisingly good and the song writing is the best its been in awhile. I can highly recommend this record to anyone who enjoys a good pop/rock record. Give it a couple of listens all the way through because it took a few times for it to really sink just how good it is. Expand
  9. Mar 27, 2013
    10
    The new album is better than i thought it would be. it's like i'm hearing something completely different and new, not just for The Strokes but in general. Kudos for the courage, in my opinion, it paid off. Favourite Tracks: Tap Out, All The Time, Welcome To Japan, Slow Animals, Chances.
  10. Apr 15, 2013
    10
    great album more rockier fading than before!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  11. Mar 28, 2013
    9
    This album is their best since Room on Fire. Simply brilliant. Perhaps my favourite of theirs. Love it when they go all out and try something brand new, and with this one it seems like they were having fun with it and just letting all inhibitions go. Much more clear and collected than Angles, not as all over the place and miss matched.. 50/50, Happy Ending and Welcome to Japan are the stand out tracks. They even do a Jazz/ Croon/ 40's/ Weird song to finish it. it may be one weird album, but its one good one.I JUST LOVE THIS ALBUM SO MUCH. Expand
  12. Mar 29, 2013
    10
    The Strokes maintain their cool persona, with this different although relevant album. The Strokes delivered what any previous fan, or first-time listener could have anticipated. on one side, there are the people who wish the strokes would return to their garage rock origins, and they do so with instant classics such as "Welcome to Japan" and "50/50". On the contrary, there are those who are looking for The Strokes to develop into not what was relevant 12 years ago, but to what is applicable today. All in all, this is a great album, with plenty of variation. Expand
  13. Jun 19, 2013
    9
    Comedown Machine has been receiving fair critical praise and has been said to be "their best work since Is This It." Now if you ask me, I think The Strokes are one of the greatest bands of this generation and will go down along with Radiohead, Vampire Weekend as this generations greatest contributors to music. I also think that all of The Strokes albums have been masterpieces, none fall short to me. So I may be a little bias giving this review, what with me having a gigantic boner for Julian and the boys, but regardless, this album is perfection. Expand
  14. May 21, 2013
    9
    Listen to "Slow Animals", "Chances", "Happy Ending", "Tap Out", "Welcome to Japan"... You know what? Listen to the whole thing! It's amazing and the only track you might want to skip will be the last one, and that just because you'd feel like "Happy Ending" would be a much better... Ending! Their best album since "Is This It". With their first album, they brought us back the best of rock and roll. Now they're bringing us back the best of pop music... You know what decade I'm talking about! Expand
  15. Apr 5, 2013
    10
    This latest album is quite different from their past albums, varying in electronic and dance music. If a band keep changing their style, it become refreshing, not like example Scorpions keep singing same stuffs all over the years, people got fed up. Go and buy this album.
  16. Apr 19, 2013
    9
    I 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
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  17. Mar 30, 2013
    10
    Es un gran disco con un gran sonido pero como a la gente no le gustan los cambios reseñan pésimamente. Me gusto mucho el sonido de los 80 y supera por mucho a angles las mejores canciones son all the time, tap out, welcome to japan, 5050, slow animals, happy endings, partners in crime. one way trigger.
  18. Mar 31, 2013
    10
    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.
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  19. May 16, 2013
    9
    To be honest, I was never a fan of the Strokes. I just wasn't on board for their brand of rock revival for some reason. However this new album I really enjoyed. I think his vocals are better served by the synth noises and electro beats that inhabit the sound here. If you love 80's new wave check it out.
  20. Jul 30, 2013
    10
    I 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!
  21. Nov 11, 2013
    10
    As with Angels, its a CD I can sit around and listen to from start to finish without ever getting tired out it. I'm not sure why I didn't review better. If you're a Strokes fan this is exactly what you'd expect as the next step from this band.
  22. Nov 12, 2013
    10
    The main problem with this album is that it's constantly being compared to Is This It and Room on Fire. Next to them, this album looks off beat and strange, but we have to take into consideration that the band has been tired of playing formulaic post-punk for almost a decade now. Objectively, I see this as potentially being one of the top-100 albums of 2010-19. Julian's unique falsetto and the way the vocals blend into the music as opposed to taking the focal and the synths that sound like 80's with a modern breath make this a wonderful record, so long as you don't go in with the expectations of The Strokes famous post-punk spunk. Expand
  23. Feb 15, 2014
    10
    Very very very very good album... Almost every song is a jewel but 'Chances' 'Tap out' and 'Karma' stand out. Best Strokes album, edging out First impressions my a smidgen. Keep going down this road Julian. It is super exciting!!
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
  1. 40
    For all the loving homages to past recording techniques, they sound laboured and bored. [May 2013, p.84]
  2. Jun 4, 2013
    40
    It’s wilful experimentation with no pay-off, sounding lonely, old, with only the occasional, tempting flicker of a genius that once burnt bright.
  3. May 10, 2013
    75
    Comedown Machine may not quite hit the heights of the band's masterpiece-to-date, but it continues the band's healthy trend of finding curious new ways to twist and complicate its by-now instinctively recognizable sound. [No. 98, p.60]