The Strokes’ fifth studio-album ‘Comedown Machine’ offers the ‘indie-rock’ band in what is arguably a much more mature light. On their fifth album, The Strokes seem to have produced an interesting record, that seems to both stay true to the band’s integrity, whilst also sounding just a little more mature than their previous work. ‘Comedown Machine’ features 11 new songs, which certainly have some kick and punch to them, but also seem to have just a little bit of experimentation that isn’t completely unknown of The Strokes. It makes for what I’d say is their most interesting record so far.
‘Comedown Machine’ is in essence your typical ‘indie-rock’ record. On the album there’s guitars, bass, drums and what-not, and as I’ve said in some previous reviews, it is a style that is becoming a little tiring. The Strokes though, since their first record, have not only found their own sound within the overused genre, they’ve developed it into the sound they have today. It seems that they’re striving to create what is in their mind a good record, which is exactly what the genre needs its bands to do. There is a lot to enjoy on ‘Comedown Machine’, with it’s racy tracks that feature interesting instrumentals, and equally as interesting vocals. It’s peculiar, as it sounds exactly like a Strokes record should, but it also sounds a lot more refined and mature, which for the band to have achieved is admirable. It seems that with every album they produce, they’re pushing themselves further and further, which a lot of bands in the genre don’t actually seem to do. The end result for The Strokes this time round is a record that is incredibly catchy, with some great tracks that just work in nearly every aspect.
Although a bit of a polarizing opinion, I would go as far to say that ‘Comedown Machine’ is probably going to become my favourite Strokes record. It seems that they’ve come a fair way since ‘Is This It’, and managed to produce music that at the very least, is just as good as their début album was when it first came out. I just find that ‘Comedown Machine’ works in so many respects, in that it is an interesting album of music, the music itself sounds good, the vocals sound good and each song works well to compliment the next which overall just makes for a great album. It has its flaws like nearly every single album has, sure enough, but it has enough working for it to just make it a great record. There’s enough dynamics in each of the songs so that nothing gets too boring, but also so that the shift in dynamics aren’t too jarring for the listener either.
In a genre, where there’s so many bands going for the easy options and producing mindless generic music, it is refreshing to see some bands at the very least attempting to make something that sounds good. It should be said that perhaps the hardcore fans of ‘Is This It’ will once again be polarised by this record as with the last few, and find nothing to enjoy on it. I, however, find it admirable that a band such as The Strokes refuse to let themselves go stale, and instead just strive to make good records. Everything they’ve worked for on ‘Comedown Machine’ seems to have really paid off, and it’s great to hear something that sounds good in such an over-used genre.
- ★★★★☆ 4/5
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