Thursday, April 14, 2011

I think The Strokes have discovered hope

Have you guys heard the new Strokes album? It's really good. I hear everything from The Cars and Queen to Men At Work, Red Hot Chili Peppers and the odd touch of Zeppelin (specifically, Robert Plant's wrecked vocals on "Custard Pie"). They even drag out some '80s gated-reverb drums to make you feel icky/awesome. It all sounds warmly familiar, and yet totally fresh and new with the signature Strokes sound. In '80s drag or something.

But also interesting to me is that Julian Casablancas seems to have added a dimension to his standard bored/disappointed/blasé songwriting. I can't think of a Strokes song that you could characterize as "caring" or even "interested", and I've listened the hell out of the first album and perhaps as much of the second album (trying to figure out why it just doesn't sing like the first). But hearing him sing, "Don't go that way / I'll wait for you" on "Under Cover Of Darkness", makes me think it's the first time a Strokes song has used a voice that says "I actually care about something" as opposed to the perpetual detachment/disinterest that they've championed since "Is This It". Compared to the last album, when he sings, "I hate them all / I hate myself", I'd say it's a significant departure.

It's no wonder this thing is the single off the album. It's a banger, and it's bright, and it's filled with hope. I hope it gets lots of play. I'm always tempted to write in the hyperbolic superlative and dub this moment the Great Hipster Awakening or something equally as bold and unverifiable, but I won't. I'll just say that Angles is probably their best album since their first, and I like it a lot. Because this post started as a status update on Facebook and I just had too much to say.