The Strokes are too good for their own damn… good. Don’t let that confuse you like it confused all the critics of The Strokes’ fifth album, released early this year, called “Comedown Machine”.
More than a few people think The Strokes are one of the best bands ever, and more than a few of the same people think “Is This It”, the band’s first album, released in 2001, is one of the best albums ever. In 2001 “Is This It” – and shit, it was! – was unique and energetic, and immediately launched The Strokes into the limelight. While the band’s next few albums were well-taken, the public perception of the band has dimmed, and continues to dim, over the years. A large part of the reason is that people who loved The Strokes in 2001 are approximately elderly now, and are having their diapers changed rather than buying new albums. But that’s not a good enough reason. Plenty of bands, especially bands once as loved as The Strokes, can kill it over and over again for years and years.
So the reaction to “Comedown Machine” was quite muted. The singles, “One Way Trigger” and “All the Time”, didn’t, to my recollection, get much radio play (I don’t listen to the radio often, but I’ve sure heard Rihanna and Bruno Mars about a billion times [oh, don’t worry, I like Rihanna and Bruno Mars]). NO ONE raved about this album. Pitchfork, Billboard, and Rolling Stone all settled on about a 6/10 rating.
Again, don’t let that fool you. “Comedown Machine” rocks. If it were a new band’s debut album today (obviously a somewhat absurd hypothetical) it would have gotten 8.5/10 on Pitchfork and started a hipster riot. The expectations for The Strokes are so high that they got a 2.5-point discount for not being insanely spectacular.
Some people don’t like the album because it doesn’t sound like the Strokes of old. Well, dude! Do you just want them to put old songs on new albums? Of course the album sounds different. GAWD. I would roll my eyes if I didn’t think that would make me look stupid.
My favorite track off of “Comedown Machine” is “Tap Out.” Check it out.
Actually, “Tap Out” sounds JUST LIKE this band called The Southland that released an album in 2005 called “Influence of Geography” that fully deserved to blow up, but never did. I think their timing was off, and probably their business sense as well. I’ll save that for another post. I doubt you’ll be able to find much of their music online… (I have all of it.)
And hey, you know how there’s those two French disc jockeys that released an album or something? They did a track with Julian Casablancas, lead singer of The Strokes. I won’t be surprised if this gets taken down with the quickness, but while it lasts…