The New Abnormal

"The New Abnormal," the sixth studio album by the Strokes, was released on April 10.

More than seven years after the band’s last album release, The Strokes released “The New Abnormal” on April 10, breaking away from the band's garage-rock style to experiment with a more refined sound.

The Strokes, an indie rock band formed in New York City, has released six studio albums, starting with “Is This It” in 2001. While performing at a presidential campaign rally for Sen. Bernie Sanders in February, The Strokes officially announced the band's newest album, “The New Abnormal,” which was released April 10, featuring nine tracks.

“The Adults Are Talking,” the album’s opening track, pairs easy-going bass with lively percussion. The mellow production contrasts with the track’s assertive lyrics, “Don’t go there ‘cause you’ll never return // I know you think of me when you think of her.”

More romantic and melodious, “Selfless,” the album’s second track, centers around passion-filled vocals from the band’s lead singer, Julian Casablancas. The lyrics, “I don’t have fun without your love // Life is too short, but I will live for you,” describe moving on from a relationship even when that is not what you want.

“Brooklyn Bridge to Chorus,” the album’s third track, opens with a bold synth progression followed by a guitar-driven chorus. The vocals accompanying the lyrics, “I want new friends, but they don’t want me,” employ the band’s signature conversational vocal tone, something I love about The Strokes.

The album’s fourth track, “Bad Decisions,” incorporates a melody from Billy Idol’s 1981 single, “Dancing With Myself.” Combining electric guitar with Idol’s melody, the track sounds very ‘80s. 

Tropical and synthy, “Eternal Summer,” the album’s fifth track, reminds me of a hot and humid summer day in my hometown of Houston, creating a nostalgic feeling that I appreciated. Contrasting with the overall chill tone of the track, the post-chorus sounds rebellious and angsty: “They got the remedy // But they won’t let it happen.”

“At The Door,” the album’s sixth track, sounds the most like a ballad, utilizing drawn-out vocals and heartfelt lyrics; “Lonely after light // You begged me not to go.” While I appreciated the track’s honesty, I hoped for more complexity in its production.

My favorite song on the album, “Why Are Sundays So Depressing?,” the album’s seventh track, sounds most reminiscent of “Someday,” off the band’s first album. Minimal in production, the track features simple guitar and relatable lyrics like, “I love you in the morning, so you know it’s no lie.”

Melancholy and sorrowful, “Not the Same Anymore,” successfully pairs a monotonous drum pattern with gloomy vocals, making it the album’s darkest track. The lyrics, “And now it’s time to show up // Late again, I can’t grow up // And now it’s me, they’ve given up on,” accurately depict one's self-reflection during a dark time in life.

The final track on the album, “Ode to the Mets,” alludes to the band’s hometown baseball team, the New York Mets. The anthemic track describes the pride the band feels at being from New York City, a place I too love dearly.

Overall, I thought this album was wonderful, refreshing and unique from any other album The Strokes have released. Because the band has been together for almost two decades, evolution in sound seems not only healthy, but inevitable.

Raegan Holland is the lifestyles editor for The Arkansas Traveler, where she previously worked as a staff reporter.

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