The Strokes - The New Abnormal
Apr 10, 2020 (updated Apr 15, 2020)
94
The Strokes... they have a history alright. The band practically ruled the rock scene in the early 2000's when "Is This It" and "Room on Fire" came out, but they didn't want to stick to their sound. So they tried to throw whatever ideas were on their plate with semi-mixed results. Julian Casablancas, meanwhile, decided to pursue the experimental lo-fi rock project of his dreams with The Voidz. This is where he was able to regain his composure as an artist, and I guess he had enough confidence to hit the nail on the head with his main band. The results round up to a surprisingly matured sound.

"The New Abnormal" is modern Strokes perfected to a tee, combining all the best parts of The Strokes catalog with Jules' work with The Voidz. It's a very everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach and, while I do prefer "Virtue" with this approach, it does it without going too overboard off the band's usual sound. Rick Rubin's usual compressed style works extremely well with the band's lo-fi style.

We also have Julian Casablancas' vocal performances, which are some of the best, and off-the-wall, of his career! "At the Door" especially takes the cake. The instrumentation is bare, with only a raw synthesizer and Jules' fantastic vocals. It gets even dreamier as the track goes on. But "Ode to the Mets" may just be one of my favorite Strokes songs ever! This is such a gorgeous and equally passionate 6-minute track with hypnotizing vocal and guitar melodies and lyrics that are just sad. Other highlights include the "Is This It" throwback "Bad Decisions", which also interestingly interpolates "Dancing with Myself" by Billy Idol and "I Melt with You" by Modern English, the robotic and smoothly-performed "The Adults are Talking" and "Eternal Summer", probably their most new-wave track yet.

Overall, "The New Abnormal" is one of the most forward-thinking, colorful, catchy and fun records of the year, and their best album in 17 years!

Fav Tracks: Ode to the Mets, At the Door, Bad Decisions, The Adults Are Talking, Brooklyn Bridge to Chorus, Not the Same Anymore, Eternal Summer

Least Fav Track: Why Are Sundays So Depressing

Score:
9.4
Outstanding
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