I feel like I am in the minority when I say that I've never thought of a Strokes album to sit below a 7.5 rating. Comedown Machine was my first album of theirs that I heard in full growing up and it made enough of an impression for me to keep up with their past work. Given it was probably the worst time to become a Strokes fan since I had to wait seven years for The New Abnormal to drop, even though I saw them tour back in 2019. Simpler times 2019... sigh.
The New Abnormal sees the modern classic rock band testing out some new waters with a more polished sound than normal. I think that is partially due to very solid production by legendary producer and personal hero of mine Rick Rubin. I think that if the band really wanted to 'redefine' themselves then he was the right guy to call.
At the Door was not at all what I would've expected as their lead single, nor did I anticipate their follow up, Bad Decisions to sound the way it did. It was definitely more in tune with what the band has sounded like thus far, but it was still a bit more clean cut than something like Room on Fire.
I find that the latter half of the album tends to be more strong on TNA, but that isn't to say the front half is all that bad. Eternal Summer just ended up being OKAY and Bad Decisions kind of wore off on me over time. STILL I think that The New Abnormal is a better album than Comedown Machine and probably Angles too although I'd have to revisit to be certain.
Best Track(s): Not the Same Anymore, The Adults are Talking, Selfless*, At the Door
Worst Track(s): Eternal Summer