The Strokes: Angles
It's hard to believe that March 22 is finally here and with it the much-anticipated release of Angles, the fourth album from indie rock innovators The Strokes. Much has been speculated -- mainly by myself -- about what would actually be said in these reviews, and now that the cat is out of the bag, I am not all that surprised. I am surprised at how warmly some have received the album, but The Strokes have created such a gigantic profile over the years that it's easy for the rose-tinted glasses to fall into place.
The Strokes - Angles
A.V. Club: Stripped to the barest essentials--droning vocals, springy guitars, simple rhythms, and unbeatable hooks--Angles is far from being the sort of grandly ambitious statement that's expected after several years of deliberation.
Rolling Stone: "There's no one I disapprove of/Or root for more than myself," [Casablancas] declares in "Life Is Simple in the Moonlight." That bravado, cut with doubt, sums up his band's greatness and dilemma. The Strokes invented their own rock. They also want to be better. And that takes time.
The Guardian: But too many unmemorable songs here struggle to define themselves, much less redefine the Strokes...But "Under Cover of Darkness" - a pastiche of the Strokes's old sound, delivered with wry amusement - proves that they just cannot continue as they were.
Pitchfork: Throughout, the album is hobbled by disconnections-- between verse and chorus, lyrics and music, intent and execution. Casablancas' ambivalence about his own actions crops up often.
Angles is out now via RCA.