With their first album (Is This It), the Strokes showed that they could produce an album of amazingly concise and brilliant 3-minute rock tracks.
While that was an amazing achievement, I felt that with their second album (Room on Fire) they showed that there was more to them, with Julian Casablancas developing a more melodic, rambling sound that showed that they wanted to develop beyond what had gone before. I never understood the negative comments about the album, for me it was more complex and more of a grower than the first one - after about 10 listens I suddenly 'got it' and was bowled over. It is now probably the album that I have listened to more times than any other in my collection.
With this third album, Casablancas et al show that they have the confidence to ignore the people that are complaining that they don't 'get it' within 2 minutes, and develop yet further. As on the previous album, I found that the singles were not my favourite tracks at all, a couple of my favourites being 'You Only Live Once' and 'Killing Lies' - I am just bowled over by the amazing vocal talent on the album that just oozes confidence. I also love the rambling style of bizarre musings - for example in 'On the Other Side' when Jules just goes off on a long and carefully measured rant about how he is tired of everyone he knows and 'hates them all'!
All in all, this is a masterpiece - listen to it 10 times before you make a decision!