Being the Strokes can’t be that easy. After releasing 3 well received albums and then breaking up and coming back together, the anticipation must be high for such a well revered band’s comeback album. After solo outings from band members, the Strokes have come back to bring back their brand of oddly satisfying pop rock. With this comeback we the listening public are brought a new album in the form of Angles. The Strokes have never been one of my favorite bands, but I do enjoy their music from time to time. I was actually expecting more of the same from them, and that’s what I got. Looking for something new in their sound wasn’t exactly on my “high expectations” list. In fact, what I was given was the same old sloppy garage pop that the Strokes have been doing for years. It’s almost as if the band never left. Too bad, because the time off should have given them the focus to put in new ideas.
I admit, I found “Machu Picchu” and “Under Cover of Darkness” to be pretty catchy with energetic riffing and almost-droning vocals. I also found “You’re So Right” to be a nice, dark pop song with a ripping guitar solo. After those first four tracks though, we’re left with a sloppy mess of an album. “Games” comes off with generic, run of the mill guitar playing, and Taken for A Fool sounds like an outtake from the Killers circa 2007. In fact, a lot of Angles’ sound can be attributed to the catchy pop aesthetics of the Killers’ first two albums. The Strokes shamelessly borrow from an outdated pop-rock formula from 2004. Maybe this is just The Strokes trying to recapture some of that old magic, or maybe this is just the Strokes doing a sloppy drunken cover of the Strokes around 2003-2004. But whatever it is, it’s pretty boring and borderline generic.
Sure, Angles may be tightly produced like any other modern rock record in the past 10 years, but it left out an element of rawness. This band has always gotten critical praise, but I never understood why. While having enjoyable songs, they’ve always been sloppy and boring. I know this sounds like a bit of a contradiction, but Angles is a right mess. The Strokes really should breakup again, because at this point, I don’t even think it’s fair to care for them.