REVIEW: The Strokes – “Angles”

The Strokes / Angles / RCA

The fourth album from New York’s prodigal sons The Strokes is an engaging listen that is not afraid to take you on an occasional detour. Much like a great journey is made more memorable by the trip than the destination, for the most part, these divergences greatly add to the aural experience of popping on Angles. Need examples? It’s when, in the middle of the mod-flavoured “Two Kinds of Happiness” – following a razor-sharp guitar solo – the frantic driving force that was building turns into an all-down-stroke affair and singer Julian Casablancas channels Rick Springfield, before elevating to a completely higher register. It’s in the strange dark retro-futurist “You’re So Right”, when a bitching classic rock solo breaks up weird experiments with vocoders and harmonies. It’s the instrumentals at the close of “Games”, that seem to depict a twilit tropical beach as much as an eerie Martian panorama.

The Strokes have such a combined pool of talent (as numerous solo albums released during their hiatus have proven) that it’s not surprising when they are able to piece together some remarkably solid tracks – as hook-laden as they are radio-ready (“Under Cover of Darkness” and “Gratisfaction”); what is so refreshing about Angles is when the group combines its talent to do something different. It’s too bad that their experiments stay shy of four-and-a-half minutes, and fans are treated to just ten tracks after such a long drought – but the success of Angles is reason enough to expect more in the future.

Download: “Two Kinds Of Happiness”, “Under Cover Of Darkness”
 

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