The Strokes – 'Comedown Machine' album review

Smart, poppy and one of the most accomplished records you’ll hear all year

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The Strokes – 'Comedown Machine'

  • Rated as: 4/5

Writing a classic album on your first attempt creates a strange pressure on a band. As Oasis, Arctic Monkeys and The Stone Roses will testify, fans may stay loyal, but deep down they still crave another bite of that elusive first fruit. The Strokes have released three so-so albums since they reinvigorated indie rock with 2001’s ‘Is This It?’. Feeling unenthusiastic this time around? Maybe the band are too, having simply dumped this album in their label’s laps with no gigs or interviews to promote it. If only they’d have some faith. ‘Comedown Machine’ is a gem – smart, poppy and one of the most accomplished records you’ll hear all year.

Where those intervening LPs displayed a suspect desire to prove their musical virtuosity, the band have finally started marrying their flare for riffing to great songs. That trademark sleaze is still there, yet The Strokes have evolved into an ultra-rhythmic juggernaut – replacing the strummy garage rock of yore with precision disco riffs on songs like ‘Tap Out’ and ‘Welcome to Japan’. Even ‘Partner in Crime’s similarity to ‘Another Day in Paradise’ by Phil Collins doesn’t stop the party. It’s cruel that punky treats like ‘50/50’ won’t be whipping mosh pits into a frenzy this summer, but they’ve let the album do the talking, and my word, it’s got more than enough to say.


Watch The Strokes' 'All The Time' video


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James Bevington
James Bevington

Dear Mr Keens, I am writing to you in regards to my final year dissertation research study in Music which I am undertaking at Royal Holloway, University of London. My study is entitled, ‘What does the future hold for the recorded music industry in the UK and US?’ and I was wondering whether you could spare a small amount of time to answer two short questions I have on the subject. These two questions would simply be: ‘Do you think there is life left in the audio CD as a saleable product?’ ‘Do think people of the future will be either buying and downloading or subscribing and streaming music and why?’. Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to hearing your opinion on the matter, Yours James Bevington BMus Undergraduate Royal Holloway, University of London

Listen to 'Comedown Machine' on Spotify

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