Comedown Machine

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Comedown Machine Image
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 208 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fifth full-length studio release for the alternative rock band led by Julian Casablancas.
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Top Track

One Way Trigger
Get dressed in your bed, while she's asleep It isn't right, but it isn't hard Tell me, tell me, won't you understand? Show me, show me, show me a... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
  1. Mar 22, 2013
    90
    This record is fun, it’s exuberant, and it’s diverse--and yet nothing sounds unnatural or feels crowbarred in.
  2. Mar 18, 2013
    80
    They’ve returned with their most thought provoking, strange and sexiest record yet.
  3. Comedown Machine is, essentially, The Strokes' 1980s album.
  4. Mar 25, 2013
    61
    The deeply uncool Comedown Machine smacks of effort.... Still, the limitations of Comedown Machine's protracted diversity all come back to Casablancas, a man with wide range as a listener and extremely narrow range as a musician.
  5. Mar 25, 2013
    60
    Comedown Machine remains a pretty good album, possibly the least characteristic thing they've released to date.
  6. Mar 26, 2013
    50
    The 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.
  7. The Guardian
    Mar 21, 2013
    40
    For the most part, this sounds like a band running low on ideas, or motivation, or the indefinable magic that makes a band a band.

See all 45 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 47
  2. Negative: 2 out of 47
  1. 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 offThe 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
  2. 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 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
  3. 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 "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
  4. 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 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
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  5. Mar 26, 2013
    8
    Though 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...
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  6. Jul 22, 2014
    8
    It's a strange record, but it's fun and great. It sounds like "Is This It?" as if it had been written in the 80's. Julian's voice really fitsIt's a strange record, but it's fun and great. It sounds like "Is This It?" as if it had been written in the 80's. Julian's voice really fits in the album, as he does falsetto here and there. If you liked Angels, you can't miss this one. Expand
  7. Apr 17, 2013
    1
    I'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

See all 47 User Reviews