Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Seven years since their last album, The Strokes, have returned in a new light with their sixth album, The New Abnormal. The album takes a path towards nostalgia with a softer and slow-tempoed blend of 9 singles. Each of the singles features elements similar to their first albums and offers a mix of sound and melody that their last couple of albums seemed to stray from.
“The Adults Are Talking” is the first song off the album, one that leaps instantly into that nostalgic sound with rebellious notion. A persistent and vibrant snare drum kicks off the song and sticks through the rest of the melody, giving the track more of a bouncy beat. Julian Casablancas soft vocals center the song and couple sublimely with the funkier instrumentals that seem to always be conversing. The guitars strumming throughout the song give various levels to the piece and create a galloping melody that blends seamlessly into the vocals and snare drum beat. The end of the song fades into studio quips that frame the track perfectly.
“Brooklyn Bridge To Chorus” leads into the track with an 80s reminiscent electric beat. The guitar throughout the song borders along the vocals and drives the song into action, reminiscing about the past and reflecting on Casablancas’ present. The vocals leading through this track are driven and clear, “I want new friends, but they don’t want me / They have some fun, but then they just leave” The track builds itself up energetically before reaching the end, where it cuts to somewhat garbled lyrics that accept his reality, “On another day, On another song, On another break….”
Overall, the album isn’t set to suddenly top the charts overnight, there are plenty of critics picking through the songs after the seven-year break. However, the album is a promising release that nods towards the beginning sounds of The Strokes and expands into a new, and encouraging, direction.