I’ve dabbled in the first three studio albums by The Strokes here and there. I was quite pleased by what I heard, however, never really made it a point to seek out the next album. I had my trusty friend to provide me with the next, most generally, as soon as they came out.
Then Julian Casablancas, fearless lead singer of the aforementioned band of brothers, released Phrazes for the Young. “Ludlow St.” was the bait that lured me into the proverbial candy van. I should have known better. I got in the van and was subjected to one of the most depressing, energy depleting albums I’ve heard.
I know this isn’t about him. You wouldn’t judge Oasis by Liam Gallagher, albeit we should.
But this Candy-Van-like experience left me broken and afraid to get near anything exuding his lyrics; thus, my hesitation with Angles.
Feeling a need for self induced Strokes therapy, I cautiously turned on this fourth studio album.
The result, a much needed Zoloft infused ten tracks of sunshine and butterflies. Ok, not quite so Care Bears, but still a night-and-day transition from where we left off.
Perhaps this is because five of the ten songs are written by guitarist Nick Valensi, only allowing Mr. Emopants Casablancas one song written entirely by himself. That one song also happens to be the last song on the album and let’s admit it, by the time you get through this album, the last 4 minutes 15 seconds isn’t enough to scar you for life. The aggregate of quality rock more than makes up for the almost five year hiatus the band took prior to accomplishing this. With a very recognizable sound, the lapse in time between seems inconsequential. The Strokes sound fans have been patiently waiting for has arrived. I caution you now. “Taken for a Fool” with all of its infectious components will embed itself in that little place in your brain you love to hate and hate to love. You know what I’m talking about, that little cavern that puts songs in your head from the moment you wake up.
With the exception of a few tracks that make you want to skip over them, as a whole the future looks bright for The Strokes. Just don’t let JC have exclusive creative rights to the writing of the songs.