Friday, February 1, 2013

TGIF: Face It, The Strokes Have Changed



Since releasing "One Way Trigger," the first single from old favourite indie rockers The Strokes' forthcoming fifth album, the internet has been alight with blogosphere debate, mixed bag reviews and - more often than not - outrage at the band's 2013 modifications to the famed fuzzy garage sound that put them on the map.

I understand the confusion, people - it must be very hard on you. But, we have to remember that rarely does a musician stick to the same path they set out on 15 years prior; I think we can all agree it's natural for music to evolve, and sometimes, evolve into a mildly controversial, genre-blending entity that divides once die hard fans and critics.

Which brings us to "One Way Trigger." I, for one, am not overly opposed to the new track. I think the spacey pop effects, A-Ha reminiscent guitar and Julian Casablancas' staggering falsetto are actually kind of nifty. No, I won't be listening to it nightly. No, the lead singer probably didn't consider what it would be like to hit those notes live, night after night. And, no, he certainly wasn't clutching his Is This It sound-a-like checklist when putting together the quirky new number.

It hardly resembles the recipe behind those melodic indie classics of days past, but I wouldn't say it's anything to get our panties in a knot about. They've been gradually diverting further from their coined rock ditties since First Impressions (although "You Only Live Once" was a perfect dose of Strokes nostalgia), so it shouldn't come as a surprise that Is This It 2.0 wasn't next on the discography roster.

I think that after 15 years of mastering that hook-filled indie sound and several solo albums (the lead singer's release was also caked in flashy video game effects), we should allow the guys a little wiggle room to re-invent themselves, even if what they had didn't necessarily require upheaval. And five albums in, who's to say another re-invention isn't likely?

What do you think of the new single? I'd love to hear. (PS. If one more review of The Strokes anything is titled "New Strokes: Is This/That It?" I'm going to go bananas! It was funny and creative the first dozen times)






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