The boys of the Strokes are men now. But their most recent album, Angles, will leave you wishing for the gritty scruffiness of their younger years. Back in 2001, the young New York garage rockers blindsided listeners with Is This It? and again in 2003 with Room on Fire. As twenty-somethings, the Strokes were revivalists griming up the music that they loved.
Yet on Angles, the band is trying too hard to leave a legacy - as if to create a sound for some future band to revive. Bad idea. "Machu Picchu" is a confusing dance track. "You're So Right" and "Games" are bad, "Metabolism" is worse: tracks drowning in horrible synth lines, tinny drums and weak, wailing vocals. And yet, the band intersperses these terrible decisions in between perfectly good ones: "Taken For a Fool" and "Gratisfaction." Sure, bands should grow and change. But this spacey, disco party of a record feels like the band is falling down and grabbing anything they can on the way down. - Leah Sottile Recommended Download: "Gratisfaction"