Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Strokes' "Under the Cover of Darkness"

The Strokes, long-time favorites of ours, have recently confirmed rumors that their new album, Angels, is being released on March 22nd. The album's first single, "Under the Cover of Darkness," has been posted onto YouTube:

For reasons I don't entirely understand, The Strokes seem to be one of those bands that is easy to hate. Some see The Strokes as a bunch of rich kids from upscale Manhattan neighborhoods, and thus not credible as outsiders or punks; others have never gotten over the fact that they were hailed as rock saviors before their first album ever hit the shelves, so much that, no matter how much success they achieve, they could never live up to the hype, or change music as it was expected they would.

In my view, none of those criticms are The Strokes' fault. Their first two albums, Is This It? and Room on Fire, are fantastic from start to finish (Is This It?, in particular, is a classic). Their most recent album, First Impressions of Earth, though watered down by a few skippable songs, nonetheless had a full album's worth of very good ones. I think that certain critics and music snobs dislike them - or, at the very least, refuse to give them an honest listen - because they're popular (so popular, in fact, that the label "indie" is rendered all but meaningless) and because of their aforementioned image problem. But there aren't more than ten bands that, in the past decade, have released three albums as good as The Strokes have, and we eagerly await their fourth.


Senor Beavis said...

Despite enjoying their first album, their second album was ferociously boring. Also, their press interviews around the second album were fantastically boring, like they either bought into their own hype or were just trying way too hard. Either way, they just didn't come across as real. Stories told about them by other bands (one in particular, an interview with Phoenix in which Thomas Mars said the Kings of Leon and Strokes told him he should do coke with them because that's what rock stars do. According to Mars, he didn't take them up on it and doesn't drink or use drugs) kinda reinforced it. That said, their 3rd album was very underrated and kinda made me like them again. We'll see this time. The parallels between them and Vampire Weekend in their genres could be made easily, but I don't want to because I like some of the Strokes' music and can't stand VW.

Terry said...

My feeling is that the Strokes ran into trouble when the first album came in with so much hype, and then "Last Night" turned out to be so dull.* I may be projecting my opinion onto the music-buying public though.

* I don't feel this way about all the songs on the album, by any stretch.