Since their terrific debut album set them apart from the rest of the early 2000s garage rock scene, The Strokes have had flashes of brilliance, moments of failure and plenty of inconsistency.
Is This It put The Strokes in a category of their own, leaving fans in high anticipation for more from America’s favorite rock band. The band has made occasional visits back to what originally made them so special (specifically “Reptilia”), but has never been able to make an entire album quite like their first.
Comedown Machine, although an admirable collection of songs, is no different. The album has good songs, and even some great ones. “One Way Trigger” is dancy and catchy, while “80’s Comedown Machine” is slow and pretty. “All the Time” and “One Way Trigger” are infectious in every way befitting airtime on the radio. The problem here isn’t that the songs aren’t good, but that they aren’t good enough.
The Strokes used to be the best rock band in the world, saving college kids and old souls from the pop-obsessed musical culture of today and giving them the rock 'n' roll escape they craved. This isn’t the case anymore, as bands like The Black Keys have taken over the reins, producing multiple hits at an unmatched pace. This much is certain - The Strokes are still a good band. But don’t expect them to be what they were in their golden years.