Review: The Strokes – The New Abnormal

This eclectic mix of sounds makes for a roaring success

Titans of indie rock The Strokes are back with their brand-new album, The New Abnormal.  An eclectic mix of old and new influences, from the classic post punk of the 1980s to early 00s indie with the addition of modern electronica, The New Abnormal is a perfect mix of the past and the present to create an altogether new and exciting sound.

Our first introduction to this sound is in the opening track, ‘The Adults Are Talking’, bursting to life with an 80s drum beat and guitar which takes you straight back to the golden era of indie bands.  The complexity of the music is met with a contrasting softness in lead singer Julian Casablancas’ vocals.  Here, the post-punk influence really shines through, giving me hope for a future were this kind of sounds becomes more commonplace in new releases.

‘Brooklyn Bridge to Chorus’ is another standout song for it’s infectious catchiness.  It’s one which is particularly reminiscent of the 00s, with an early Franz-Ferdinand sound bleeding through into the song with the added bonus of its electronic riff and captivating drum line.  Musical nostalgia is become a fast trend in the world of pop, but it seems like alternative musicians are pulling it off with considerably more success when we hear the likes of The New Abnormal.  There’s a real authenticity to this album; The Strokes’ combination of the old and the new is, above all, cohesive.

The next highlight on this album comes along with ‘Why Are Sundays So Depressing’.  Drum lines aren’t something that stand out to me in my listening, but as you can well guess by now this album is a notable exception.  On top of that, the electric guitar work is honestly exquisite.  It’s a more laid-back track on the album, and a fine example of how music can be both complex and understated at the same time.

The New Abnormal is at its core a refreshing take on indie rock; definitive proof that experimentation can be innovative and effective in revitalising alternative music.  There’s no doubt that The Stroke’s will stand out for having made one of the best albums of the year.  Their ability to combine genres from the 80s and 00s with a cutting-edge sound pushes the boundaries of genre and sets the bar impressively high for music releases this year.

The New Abnormal is out now via RCA Records.


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