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Album Review: The New Abnormal by The Strokes

**Before I begin, since this is my first review on the blog I think I should explain my rating system here. I don’t want to use the usual star or number rating system as I’m unable to put my verdict of something I consume in numerical terms. Instead, I’ll try to rate them in terms of what I feel of them. So here’s the rating metric I’m going to use, from best to worst :

  1. Instant / Classic
  2. “It’s great” / worth adding to your collection.
  3. Must listen/ see/ read if you’re a fan.
  4. //stream it once it’s free//
  5. //meh..//
  6. //fun for the high time//
  7. //skip it.//
  8. Horrendous. Piece. Of. Shit.

So i guess we’re good to go.**

THE NEW ABNORMAL – THE STROKES

Rating – “It’s great” /worth adding to your collection.

Okay, I should tell you that this is my first Strokes album. I was born in 2001, so I missed out on the early 2000s hype surrounding them. And their work since then has really been sub-par, with a really uneventful 2010s for them. But I know about them and I understand why they’re so beloved by so many. I have listened to their earlier music and I love it. So, when I heard “At the Door”, their latest single from their new album, I was super hyped. I was about to witness my first Strokes album.

And honestly I’m not disappointed. After seven years of hiatus have finally come back with an album which is possibly their best since their 2006 album “First impressions of the truth.” And what better, they have matured a lot since then, which is very evident on this project. The Strokes are known to look back at earlier periods like the eighties and pay homage to them, and while they still do that in this album, they are also looking back at something more. They are reminiscing at their early times as a band, New York from when they were young and past friendships and relationships among others. This nostalgia drives the sound of this album. The guitar riffs and over the top synths are very 80’s in here, which is very classic of the Strokes, yet they add to that sound in here. They beautifully nudge between poppy dance rock and ambient rock ballads, supported by the high pitched falsetto of Julian Casablancas and his extraordinary vocal abilities.

Lyrically too, The Strokes have matured a lot. Their ideas are more clear and easy to digest in this album. The lyrics are simple and dark, and while it might seem pretentious at some points, Julian’s delivery makes them work. The themes of the album are petty universal, so almost anybody will be able to connect to the lyrics. Also, the writing here is really witty and smart which adds to the fun of the songs. While there’s no storyline per se in the album, the overall themes connect beautifully. Each track has it’s own thing to say and they all together complete the story that the Strokes are trying to paint here. For example the opening track “The Adults are Talking” is shot at people in power or rich businessmen, followed by “Selfless” which is a rock ballad where Julian sings about an old romance, while the album ends on “An ode to the Mets” where The strokes talk about their childhood memories and give a tribute to their city – New York.

Fav Tracks: At the Door, Ode to the Mets, Bad decisions, Brooklyn Bridge to Chorus, Selfless, The Adults are Talking, Not The same anymore.

Least Fav Tracks: Why Are Sunday’s so Depressing

Overall, I loved this album. While it might not be a classic like The Stroke’s debut album “Is this It”, “The New Abnormal” is the best work they have put out in recent memory. It is great album and if you love the Strokes, you should definitely buy it and add it to your collection.

So that’s it for this, I’ll be back with another review shortly. Do let me know what you thought about the album in the comment below!