Next Tuesday will mark the release of The Strokes’ fifth studio album, Comedown Machine. It’s always interesting when these guys roll out fresh material because no matter how good it is, critics and to a certain extent fans, will undoubtably lament about how the new stuff just isn’t on par with their 2001 – 2003 quality of production.
Fear of negative listener opinion doesn’t seem to bother The Strokes. They’ve openly discussed their internal struggles to find that early Is This It magic that is continuously demanded of them, but readily admit that it just might not be there anymore and that they’ve moved on. When a band acknowledges that they’re ready to explore new territory, we as fans have to live with that decision. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn’t.
No one really knew what to expect when the band suddenly announced the release of this forthcoming album in early January. Reviews on their previous LP Angels were varied, and it was anyone’s guess what this new music might sound like. What had been confirmed was that all five members were going to be in the studio recording Comedown Machine together, a sign of solidarity that was lacking during previous sessions.
The two newer tracks we’ve heard so far are fairly different. “One Way Trigger” and “All The Time” seem to represent opposite creative directions. One is glitchy and erratic, while the other more calculated and indicative of that “classic Strokes” sound. We may be one full week away from the official released date, but Amazon.com has a preview of each of the 11 new tracks streaming on their site now. I’m a huge advocate of this band and personally love what I’ve heard from these samples. Hopefully the rest of The Strokes fan base feels the same way.
UPDATE: Amazon has removed this page from their site. Will provide a new link or access to these previews when they become available.
UPDATE 2: Stream the album in full at Pitchfork.