The Strokes' 'Angles' now streaming online: Read our review here

the-strokes

Image Credit: David Becker/WireImage.com

A full week in advance of its planned March 22 release date, The Strokes have released a full official stream of their fifth album, Angles, on their website. (Click here to listen.)

Below, find Amanda Petrusich’s review, also running in this week’s print edition:

The Strokes, Angles (RCA)

It’s been five years—a pop eon!—and four solo projects since the Strokes released their third album, the wonky and stilted First Impressions of Earth. Once the artfully rumpled kings of downtown rock, the Strokes were marred by personal discord; for a while, they seemed like a broken band (and in fact, they didn’t record their latest album in one another’s physical presence).

Angles is accordingly fractured and often inscrutable, but there are returns to form, especially “Under Cover of Darkness,” a vintage party anthem for the Lower East Side set. The group has never shied away from memorable hooks, and Angles owes significantly more to the Cars than the Velvet Underground: Here, Albert Hammond Jr.’s twitchy guitar work is offset by power-pop melodies that can border on goofy (“Gratisfaction” and “Taken For A Fool,” especially).

Part of the Strokes’ allure is their perceived disaffection; they’re infinitely cooler than us, and—cue bored eye roll—deeply ambivalent about it. But Angles reveals a newfound earnestness: For the first time, it actually feels like the guys are trying. B–

Download These:

The jumpy single “Under Cover of Darkness,” which nods to their early work
The dark and electo-riddled “You’re So Right”

More on EW.com:
Kanye West, Cee-Lo, TV on the Radio and more to perform this week at SXSW
Miley Cyrus and the Strokes on ‘Saturday Night Live': Your opinion is desired

Comments (27 total) Add your comment
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  • jets

    lazy review, admittedly dismissive of his perception of their image, rather then focusing on the music. They’ve always been trying. You can’t sound as tight as they do live without trying. E.W. clearly prefers teen bumble gum pop, with their high ratings of Beiber, Avril, Miranda Cosgrow, etc.

  • redraiderdc

    Agreed with jets. This album is refreshing, exciting and INFECTIOUS. It’s like the Cars, early 80’s era Fleetwood Mac and Duran Duran at an orgy. It’s a fine return to form for a band still heading towards their prime. Anyone reviewing this album should spend more time listening to it then worrying about what Julian has been up to the past 5 years.

  • Wayne Coyne’s Lovechild

    EW music reviews are such a joke. Only one of the review’s paragraphs actually attempts to talk about the album. I also agree with Jets, the whole review feels lazy. I can’t even say if I agree or disagree with the review, because it isn’t even saying anything about the music!

  • John Locke

    Please tell me that this “review” isn’t really going into the print edition of a magazine I subscribe to? Early April’s Fools joke? Amazon reviews by random people, who are unpaid, are written better than this junk. What does this actually “review”? I thought an album review was supposed to talk about the album?

    I’m sure the Lady Gaga review will be 2 pages long with a cover story on the making of included as well. What a joke.

  • mathew

    EW needs to hire a real music critic. Like someone said, “lazy review”.

    • Semewicam

      Thanks so much for helping to protome Enation! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting them and hearing them play live and I can honestly say they are not only very talented, but also humble, appreciative and just plain real! They make it so easy to be a fan which is a big part of how/why they won your contest. The 5 fantabulous members of Enation deserve every good thing that comes their way including a billboard in Times Square!!!

  • Where have you gone, Julian Casablancas?

    You don’t need a review. Just click the link above and listen for yourself. The whole record is 34 minutes long. I would argue that if it takes a band 5 years to put out a half-hour’s worth of music, they are doing the opposite of “trying.”

    • A

      Their first two album are about the same length as the new album. That’s just how The Strokes do it. Their albums are very concise. Just because the album is short in length doesn’t mean they are not trying. Ever heard of the phrase “quality over quantity?”

      • Have you listened to this yet?

        Nobody will describe this record as “concise.” “Quantity” and “quality” (Tracks 1, 2, 3, and 10) are about equal here.

      • Dave

        I don’t think ‘A’ was commenting as much about the quality of the album, but rather dismissing the other commenter’s criticism that because the album is short in length means it’s bad or that they’re not trying. Like ‘A’ points out, their debut album, Is This It, is about the same length, and it’s great. So if there is going to be criticism for their new album, it shouldn’t be about the length, but rather the quality of the songs.

  • Guy

    This review is garbage. It’s okay to not like an album, but support your grade with some information about it. One of the worst, laziest reviews I’ve read in a long time. 5 sentences long and only 2 talking about the actual music. Nice.

    • Jaqlin

      Superb work Peraza, thank you so much for a dream come true! Hope we can work together again in the furtue. Til then, God bless you in all your endeavors!

  • Leask

    Don’t like the review? Write a better one and post it in the comments. Because there’s little more absurd than calling a reviewer lazy in the absolute laziest way possible.

    • Guy

      I’m not getting paid to review albums, like the writer I’m criticizing. Still, my review of her review is more informative than anything she was able to write.

  • wolfman

    the first sentence shows us the credibility of this review. it’s their fourth album!

  • dad

    omg.. 5th album and aside from the review sucking so does the album.. stick to the first two albums

  • Phillip Burrows

    Listening to the album now, I must admit, it isn’t very good at the moment. But who am I to say, I am one of the many people that are guilty of expecting another “Is This It?” which is unfair really. I must admit “Under Cover of Darkness” is a great track.

    • Jose

      I peefrr the songs I peefrr the songs without the woman in backup. It is a beautiful song, but because of that, it’s not enough to be on my favroites of GazettE. The lyrics, as always, are amazing anyway!GazettE, keep on going!

  • Dave

    It’s a decent album with some good and solid tracks, but I’m a little underwhelmed. I didn’t expect it to be as great as Is This It, but I was hoping and thinking it would at least be as good as Room On Fire. Unfortunately, I don’t think it is. Maybe it’ll grow on me some more, but as of right now, I’m a bit disappointed that I’m not really into it like I was with their first two albums when I first listened to them.

  • ALEX

    HERE’s A REVIEW FOR YOU:

    After taking a five year leave of absence, the manhattan rock group that once stole critics’ heart with their retro sound and irraplaceable attitude return with “Angles.”

    Unlike many groups that take an excessivley long break of making records, The Strokes don’t steer away far from their signature sound. The first single “Undercover of Darkness” illustrates the band’s pop-driven sound while “You’re So Right” delivers a dark alternative sound.

    “Gratisfaction” and “Taken For A Fool” make The Strokes appear as though they never left the music scene with punchy hooks and singer Julian Casablancas’ signature deep and raw vocals.

    However, The Strokes don’t show the need for dissaproval as much as they show how much potential they still have to give as a musical act. “Games” sounds like a B-Side of a 80’s greatest hits CD while “Life Is Simple In The Moonlight” could be the most boring end to a disc in recent memory.

    When all is said and done, “Angles” delivers exactly what it should have been set to deliver: the return of one of america’s most underated bands. The Strokes return without changing much of their sound and still leave room for improvement. The Strokes have admitted they wish to never have that long of a break between albums ever again.

    “Angles” is a good addition to The Strokes repertoire. The album should not turn away fans. The album could certainly gain fans. Most importantly, the album leaves listeners wondering what is next for the band that has come back in full swing without leaving much behind.

    • Frida

      What?!
      Life Is Simple in the Moonlight is the best song on the album!

    • Color Me Impressed

      This review is decent, but its really disjunct; it could certainly flow better.

    • Ayumi

      So in love with this band, they are truly unique and ipnnirisg. They do so much to help those in need, and in a day when the world just seems a harsh place to live in a times it needs a band like E to lift the spirits and rock at the same time! I’ve never been touched so much by music before so thank you about.me for featuring Enation on your blog!

  • Xavier

    I won’t lie, when I first heard the album it threw me off guard cause I was expecting minimal, sharp-edged Strokes of 8-10 years ago. This album is SOOO not that. It took me a few listens to realize that that’s not a BAD thing. Growth is good. The only bad thing about this album is it’s directionless, musically. Some songs are a return to the old Strokes while others feel like the songs that should’ve been on Julian’s album. Just seems like a good collection of songs as opposed to a proper album. This would’ve been a classic album had they used “Life Is Simple” as they’re launch point stylistically and went forward from there.

    Good stuff though ;)

  • Julian P

    This review is laughable. I can’t even call it a review. Screw this, I’m going to a real music blog.

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