The Strokes – The New Abnormal – Album Review
by Killian Laher
The question is: Does anyone really need a new album by the Strokes? This is their first in seven years and, understandably, some of the material here is iffy. The Adults Are Talking is kind of boppy and perky with Julian Casablancas’ whine barely recognisable before he unleashes his falsetto, used again in Selfless though this one has some reasonably fetching guitar. The groovy shuffle of Eternal Summer is unfortunately ruined by Casablancas squeaking his way through the verses before a bawled chorus. Probably the biggest talking point on the album is Brooklyn Bridge to Chorus. Where you stand on this one will indicate what you think of the album, it’s like the Strokes meet the Human League down at the disco, with cheesy synth stabs and a boppy dancefloor beat. It doesn’t suit them if you ask me.
Bad Decisions is a massive improvement and a memorable guitar strum in the style of the Pretenders. And for those who preferred the early Strokes-sound, they are catered for here with At The Door, despite the heavy presence of keyboards. Why Are Sundays So Depressing and Not The Same Anymore have the drawly, louche quality that the Strokes used to convey in spades, the latter’s slow build exploding into early noughties guitar heaven.
But therein lies the problem with this album, it’s disjointed, it’s like they couldn’t decide whether to make a spruced-up, modern synth-drenched album or stick to the classic Strokes sound, so they ended up doing a bit of both. It’s understandable that we can’t have The Strokes circa late 90s/early noughties back, though I’m not sure what this version is. Nor I suspect, are they.
Track List –
1. The Adults Are Talking
3. Brooklyn Bridge to Chorus
4. Bad Decisions
5. Eternal Summer
6. At the Door
7. Why Are Sundays So Depressing
8. Not The Same Anymore
9. Ode to the Mets