The Strokes: Comedown Machine

28 Dec

ComedownMachineComedown Machine confirms my long-held suspicion that it is musically impossible for The Strokes to produce mediocre music.

One of those rare and brilliant albums on which every song is a strong one, Comedown Machine continues along the more electronic, more complex, more esoteric yet all-the-more-delicious-when-you-finally-latch-onto-it path The Strokes carved out with Angles in 2011.

Julian Casablancas‘ voice takes more of a back seat than before in favor of more detailed and layered yet nonetheless classic slick rock instrumental; yet at the same time we are led into what is uncharted territory for Casablancas: his soft falsetto in “Slow Animals”; the howling soprano chorus of “One Way Trigger”, and the use of vocal harmonies throughout the album.

Perhaps their most masterful album yet, Comedown Machine presents a diverse repertoire of The Strokes’ genius: “50/50” epitomizes the band’s sound, both now and through the years (classic hard rock, but intoxicatingly unique and surprising) and “80s Comedown Machine” is a slower, more poignant homage to their earlier work. My personal favorite, though, is “Partners in Crime”.

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