The Strokes: Angles

Hello, The Strokes. Long time, no see.

The band’s fourth and latest album, Angles kicks off with the song “Machu Pichu,” which features kind of choppy, tropical guitar and keyboard effects that seem dug up from a time capsule buried in the ‘80s. A second guitar dogs Julian Casablanca’s casually bored vocals before he bursts into more passionate tones. Things take a poppier and more danceworthy turn with jams like “Under Cover of Darkness,” which invites the listener to get up and jump around with an addictive upbeat tempo and freewheeling lyrics that rebel against the cause of your choice. The guitars offer a little more squeal that put a smile on your face with their kind of unfiltered excitement that come off as simultaneously whimsical and ultra tight.

It’s seriously impossible to sit still while listening to this song, and the abrupt cutoff just made me want to go back for a second, third, tenth listen before moving on. There are a few more tracks like “Machu Pichu” that start off with fingers that seem to only tease the strings and those somewhat obnoxious keys, like “Two Kinds of Happiness,” but again, those fingers can’t keep up the guise for long, especially when Fabrizio Moretti’s drums and cymbals are itching to flick the switch to automatic fire.

The Strokes go soberly angsty with “Gratisfaction” and a couple of others, with Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond sticking to chords and note patterns that seem to stew and smolder and Julian going back to the filter to drown out any emotion, resulting in the mood of a robot who has lost the will to live.

The final types of feelings here come out on “Life Is Simple In The Moonlight” and “Call Me Back,” which sound like the way you feel while kicking shells on a lone beach, with slower, guarded sounds that seem content to sit back and contemplate the bitter and the sweet. Just about the whole album seems like the latter.

In A Word: Successful