Average User Score: 7.8Mar 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