I would spend my summers and spring breaks in Santa Monica,CA during my more youthful youth. The stores and restaurants in Santa Monica would play music that heavily contributed to the mood. Now it is important to note that I listened to The Strokes newest release on an eighty degree day in March during the usual spring break period. I’m older yet still young, but as soon as the lead track from The Strokes newest album began I was placed in Santa Monica on a beach with a brewski.

The lead track, “Machu Picchu”, embodies the California rock sound. There’s a strong reggae rhythm accompanied by indie rock guitar rifts. This song could have easily accompanied tracks on a Slightly Stoopid release. A surprising start for a band from New York City. The California sound is carried right through the third track, “Two Kinds of Happiness”. Then the album takes a strong turn toward the more traditional Strokes sound.

The track, “You’re So Right”, is reminiscent of The Smiths classic release with a modern twist. I might have made the comparison because I went to sleep the night before listening to “How Soon is Now”. What the Strokes presented through the fifth track is an intriguing set of  uptempo cuts. Wait a second is this an 80’s album? Because “Games”, the title to the sixth track is unmistakably androgynous.

At this point in the album, The Strokes have successfully sold me on their vision. I’m going to purchase this album. However the tempo slows towards the end and the band does not disappoint by fading away aimlessly into music’s dark night. The band doesn’t fade away but the music does. The Strokes are already working on a new album.

So a brief synopsis: Strong elements of California rock from jump. Three tracks-“You’re So Right”, “Metabolism”, and “Life is Simple in the Moonlight”-that highlight The Strokes traditional sound. Uptempo through the midway point of the album slowing gradually through the end.

“It’s what the record sounds like,” guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. says of the title. “It comes from five different people.”[1]

Angles by The Strokes

 

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