Comedown Machine

Comedown Machine

The RCA logo that dominates the album art of Comedown Machine sarcastically signifies The Strokes fulfilling their five-album contract obligation to the label. With similarly endearing cheekiness, the opening song is titled “Tap Out.” Inside jokes aside, Comedown Machine is a seriously approached indie-pop album that furthers the band’s hip cosmopolitan sound. “Tap Out” plays with striking similarities to Julian Casablancas’ solo album Phrazes for the Young, replete with falsetto vocals set to muted disco flourishes. But the following single “All The Time” properly sets the album’s tone with The Strokes' familiar post-punk influences and driving guitar riffs chugging alongside Casablancas’ more recognizable tenor. It’s impossible not to recall A-ha’s 1985 synth-pop hit “Take On Me” when hearing the percolating keyboards in “One Way Trigger”—especially when Casablancas ramps up his glassy falsetto to Morten Harket’s range. But with help from producer Gus Oberg (who also mixed the band’s preceding album, Angels), The Strokes succeed at importing such '80s influences without drowning in them.

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