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CD review: The Strokes’ ‘Comedown Machine’

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Comedown Machine is the final release in The Strokes’ five-album contract with RCA.
Smith Galtney

Chances are this is the last you’ll hear from The Strokes, for a while or maybe ever. The final release in the group’s five-album contract with RCA, Comedown Machine arrives without fanfare—sans press interviews, new video or publicity blitz of any sort. But unlike 2011’s Angles, which was assembled via email, Comedown was recorded with everyone present and sounds less like a band falling apart than some ol’ cohorts trying a few new things before calling it a day.

The Details

The Strokes
Comedown Machine
Three and a half stars

Tunes like “All the Time” and “50/50” are rave-ups in the classic Strokes vein, but the joy here is in the detours: mutant disco (“Welcome to Japan”), synth-pop (“One Way Trigger”), vintage balladeering (“Call It Fate, Call It Karma”). Sure, it’s uneven. Yeah, it ain’t no Abbey Road. But someday, somebody will revisit Comedown Machine and wonder why people like to piss on this band so much.

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