Comedown Machine - The Strokes
Comedown Machine Image
Metascore
68

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

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 147 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fifth full-length studio release for the alternative rock band led by Julian Casablancas.
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
    Full of clever sounds, with melodies butting up against countermelodies and more laughs than you might think, Comedown Machine is by no means a bad record. It just has the misfortune of being the record that few Strokes fans want from them.
  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. 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: 33 out of 39
  2. Negative: 2 out of 39
  1. 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. Expand
  2. 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. Collapse
  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 "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. 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
  5. Mar 26, 2013
    8
    12 years makes a hell of a difference, doesn't it? The Strokes used to be the picture of sleazy New York City cool; nowadays, they've ditched the denim jackets and untamed afros for tight leather and hair gel. The Strokes used to be hailed as the saviors of rock; nowadays, Julian Casablancas' adoration for 80s synth pop shines more than ever. One thing has remained the same through all these years, though: The Strokes are still The Strokes. Don't get me wrong, there aren't many parts of this album that'll make you recall that "vintage" Strokes sound. The high twangy guitars from "Someday," the detached growls of "Last Nite," and the disorganized defiance of "Take it or Leave It" are nowhere to be found. The stripped-down style that characterized Is This It has been traded for tight production and a fierce attention to detail. Despite this, Comedown Machine feels more like a Strokes album than anything since Room on Fire.

    "50/50," for example, hits you with a ferocity reminiscent of Room on Fire's "Reptilia," featuring a chorus that stretches Casablancas' signature yell to its limit. "Partners in Crime" possesses some of the finest bass work we've seen yet from Nikolai Fraiture and a rhythm guitar line from Albert Hammond Jr. that just does not stop. Ever. You just have to tune yourself in to it. See, The Strokes haven't completely ditched their sound, they've just added to it. Even where they experiment, Julian and the gang still show signs of being that group that captured our hearts in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy. Opener "Tap Out" and "Welcome to Japan" showcase Nick Valensi's eye for precise melody while still allowing his frontman to question "What kind of drives a Lotus?" in signature croon. Lead track (and don't call it a single unless you feel facing the ire of Is This It apologists who hang on to the early days throwback "All The Time" as a sign that the old Strokes are coming back) "One Way Trigger" is an album highlight despite being far different than anything Casablancas and Crew have ever released. The initial reaction for listeners will undoubtedly be "Wow, this is Take on Me. This is seriously Take on Me." Like much of the rest of the album, "One Way Trigger" is absolutely influenced by 80s pop, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. 80s pop was fun. "Take on Me" is fun. I'm sure many of you find yourselves still singing along whenever it comes on the radio.

    So despite all the changing, The Strokes are still fun. Isn't that why we liked them in the first place? We were all so infatuated with New York City sleaze that The Strokes simply allowed us to express our interests through music. In this sense, the 2001 Strokes were a band that made a trend accessible. Perhaps the 2013 Strokes are just trying to do the same? Of course, who knows where they'll go from here, now that their 5 record contract is over and done with? They've given no indication that they want to tour this album, nor have they given it significant press. The entire thing, from the throwback label to the relative haste it was produced with, seems like an "F you!" to the record label. The entire thing reeks of nonchalance, and isn't that as Strokesy as it gets?
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  6. 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 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
  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 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 39 User Reviews