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Comedown Machine [VINYL]

4.2 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Vinyl (25 Mar. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rough Trade
  • ASIN: B00B84DZEA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,334 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Fifth studio album by the American indie rock band. Featuring the single 'All the Time', the album entered the UK Albums Chart at #10 and received critical acclaim from various reviewers.

BBC Review

For anyone who was keeping up with the music press around the turn of the century, The Strokes were ubiquitous.

Hailed as the saviours of an alternative scene that had grown dull and stagnant, they exploded into the public consciousness with The Modern Age EP and followed it up with Is This It, one of the most perfectly realised debut albums in recent history.

Their career since then – or so the perceived wisdom goes – is one of diminishing returns: albums that never outdid this early benchmark, inter-band quarrels, solo releases and a lengthy hiatus.

But perhaps it is time that perceived wisdom was revised a little. After all, the triumph of Is This It wasn’t simply down to the group’s appealingly dishevelled aesthetic and underdog mentality.

In celebrating the past while aiming at something contemporary and meaningful, the debut succeeded because it was full of effortlessly brilliant pop songs.

And here’s the thing: The Strokes have always put out brilliant pop songs. Maybe they aren’t quite so effortless these days: recording sessions for 2011’s Angles were reportedly fraught, tension-filled affairs.

Sure, maybe that earlier magic isn’t quite so keenly felt. But the hit-to-miss ratio across their discography is, nevertheless, remarkable.

So it goes on Comedown Machine. The songs here might take a little longer to unlock than their predecessors, but none of them strike a false note. Although plenty of the group’s signature sounds are present and correct, they form the backdrop to an unexpectedly wide range of styles and approaches.

More than ever before, emphasis is placed on a tight, propulsive groove, such as that which opens proceedings in Tap Out. The following All the Time is fairly by-the-book, but their a-ha-plundering One Way Trigger signals something a little stranger and a little more unique.

The almost-title track 80’s Comedown Machine is a swelling, low-key number in thrall to the decade it name-checks. It finds Julian Casablancas on rueful, eloquent form, and typifies the ease with which The Strokes open themselves up to new possibilities here.

Welcome to Japan is enticingly odd, Slow Animals boasts a bittersweet, moving chorus, while finale Call it Fate, Call it Karma is by some stretch the dreamiest, most unusual thing they have ever put to tape.

Brilliant pop songs, then. Sometimes that’s all that really matters.

--James Skinner

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As a hardcore Strokes fan my opinion may be slightly biased, which I have considered before writing this review in order to make it worth reading. Despite this I cannot fault this album, and that is my honest opinion fan or no fan.

This album has variety which cannot be seen on any other Strokes album, whilst at the same time keeping within an alternative 80's theme, each song flowing effortlessly on to the next. It is a joy to listen to; my current favourite songs being 'Tap Out', 'Welcome to Japan' and 'Happy Endings' however this changes on a daily basis because every song has different qualities about it, being such a diverse album.

New techniques and styles are used, which is parallel to their last LP 'Angles' however, this time it feels professional and works well like it is meant to be that way, rather than almost experimental like with Angles.

Overall it sounds like a band that has evolved and improved, making songs that are so different yet are so undoubtably Strokes, because of the powerful hooks and addictiveness that you can only hear from this band. It is hard for them to ever out-do 'It This It' which is the curse of a perfect debut LP, so critics are always lukewarm with any other album they put out. But I can say with certainty that this is yet another intriguing, fresh and perfect album which will remain in my collection for many years to come.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Has it really been 12 years since The Strokes released "Is This It" back in 2001 and were heralded as the saviours of rock and roll? That album did a lot of things such as bringing rock back to its basics at a time when Nu-Metal was king, it also has been a heavy burden for the band as whatever they release since is always compared to "Is This It". With 2011's release "Angles" all was not well with the band, there was a lot of infighting between the members and the album itself was met with lukewarm reviews from fans and critics alike. It gave people the opportunity to use the lame "Is This It" pun on the album's release. So two years later and The Strokes release album number five the heavily influenced by the 80's "Comedown Machine", wisely the band have avoided all press duties and instead will let the music do the talking this time.

That 80's sound is there for all to hear on "One Way Trigger" with its bouncy bass-line and a rather cheap sounding keyboard as Julian hits the high notes perfectly, it is a song that required repeated listens to see just exactly what they were up to and probably sums up the album perfectly in that don't dismiss it after one quick listen. It is a better indicator of what to expect rather than the first single of "All The Time" which had many people suggesting that The Strokes were returning to the sound of "Is This It". That's not to say there is no rocking numbers as a quick listen to "50 50" shows that The Strokes do 3 minute rock songs as good as any one.

Album opener "Tap Out" wears its 80's heart on its sleeve and will have you scratching your head as to what 80's song it reminds you of. "80's Comedown Machine" starts of sounding like Ultravox's "Vienna" before a slow vocal kicks in.
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Format: Audio CD
As the BBC review above quite rightly states - there is a received wisdom regarding The Strokes that Is This It was some sort of perfect hybrid of rugged style, retro chic - taking girls out, beskinny-jeaned in your dad's car.
True - their debut was unique and remarkable in the way it reinvogorated an old image and synthesized it into the bombast of the turn of a century. Jake Bugg is doing something similar now. But they were working from that old image as a starting point - and The Strokes hardly get enough credit for how since then, each album has added new layers, new original ideas, without losing anything from the old (check Vision of Divsion from album 3 to see how this uses all 3 opening albums' key sounds to create something newer).

If anything, their last effort - Angles - was the poorest in terms of incoporating those signature sounds. The flip side of that of course is that Angles stands alone as quite a taught record with very jagged sounds beneath Julian's straining voice. This voice might be the first thing you notice on Comedown Machine.

It's ironic that on the most successful album - Julian saught to disguise his singing out of embarrassment - yet that became part of both the sound and the image. Full credit to him then, for attempting to develop it in new and interesting ways album-by-album. Life on Other Planets was the first that saw him really open it out. Sometimes that worked - Juicebox for example - but at times it got a bit much. He now seems to have recognised this and has far more variety in place for Comedown Machine. Little falsettos mixed with signature world-weary drone, and even unhinged anger on 50/50.

So, now for the album review cliches. It's a grower. In time the tracks intermingle and slot together perfectly.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
This I the strokes album that sound disco like especially the first track. The tracks on this album are fab, it also has a cd version included, Julian Casablancas' voice sounds like singing through the telephone in some of the tracks! the closing track is odd at first but sounds like someone singing down the alleyway but a great tune
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