Comedown Machine

The Strokes - Comedown Machine
Critic Score
Based on 33 reviews
2013 Ratings: #776 / 962
User Score
Based on 391 ratings
2013 Ratings: #400
March 26, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
RCA / Label
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This record is fun, it’s exuberant, and it’s diverse – and yet nothing sounds unnatural or feels crowbarred in. 

Drowned in Sound

The Strokes will never get back the raw magic of Is This It? but, with Comedown Machine, they’ve cast a different spell entirely – one that’s almost joyful.


They’ve played around, tested themselves – unburdened themselves of anyone’s expectations other than their own – and won.


The Strokes' most mature music yet, Comedown Machine is a solidly enjoyable album, even if it lacks some of the band's previous spark.


It’s flawed, it’s imperfect and it’s downright odd at points, but it is packed with belting tunes. Most of all, it’s fun – a great achievement considering it hasn’t looked like fun being in The Strokes for years. 

A.V. Club

While Comedown Machine sounds—and more importantly flows—like Angles, it finds some new charms.

Pretty Much Amazing

Their best songs pack more riffs, eighth notes, energy, spunk, and humor into three minutes than most fit into a whole album.  Comedown Machine doesn’t so much combine those factors as it does spread them out unevenly.

Consequence of Sound

True to the album’s title, it’s comfortable and less persuasive. The risks feel warranted, even if it doesn’t result in something that’s sticky or punchy. This might explain why the album doesn’t carry a single hit.


As long as they keep stumbling into the same studio every few years, The Strokes will probably continue making albums like Comedown Machine: reliably solid, mostly enjoyable, slightly disappointing for reasons that are difficult to articulate.

Beats Per Minute

While Comedown Machine drags itself through a number of dead zones (most notably the dud pair of the title track and “50 50”), there are moments where they recapture some of what made them a great band.


The limitations of Comedown Machine's protracted diversity all come back to Casablancas, a man with wide range as a listener and extremely narrow range as a musician. 


As it is, Comedown Machine is an effort where successive listens and dissections of the songs ultimately reveal more meaning and comprehension. Good, not magnificent.


A scuffed-up but fine-tuned power-pop band that's never been less than the sum of its influences casts its net wider, or maybe just into different waters.

The 405

If this is all they can muster, their future looks anything but bright, and the most damning indictment is that they sound bored by the effort.

Under The Radar

Overall, it might not be fair for The Strokes to have to live under the shadow of their own previous successes. But when you know a band can be that good, it's frustrating to hear the same band put out an album this forgettable. 

No Ripcord

Just like the band itself, it presents something of an ongoing identity crisis for the band, one that hasn’t figured out how to advance their sound except to put more meat on the bones

Not the sound I want out of this band. I don't expect another "Is This It", but this doesn't even seem like they are trying anymore.
This is essentially my same feelings about Angles but amplified. However, on this album there really aren't any songs that stand out as some of the groups best work and everything instead feels a little below par for what one would expect from the group. I think the spark of the group has simply largely left their sound from this point, and unfortunately it's hard to see a scenario in which that changes.

Favorite track: Welcome To Japan
Unpopular opinion: this is good and ahead of it's time
Pretty bland and meh rock album with some shining moments that make save this record.

Best Track: Call It Fate, Call It Karma
Worst Track: One Way Trigger
Tap Out - 8/10
All the Time - 6.8/10
One Way Trigger - 6.4/10
Welcome to Japan - 6.8/10
80s Comedown Machine - 7/10
50/50 - 7/10
Slow Animals - 7/10
Partners in Crime - 6.9/10
Chances - 7.2/10
Happy Ending - 6.8/10
Call It Fate, Call It Karma - 7.7/10
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Added on: January 30, 2013