(taken from the wonderful http://www.freedomspark.co.uk, which you should all bookmark, run by my wonderful friend Katie!)
This is the album that the “indie” world has been waiting for with baited breath for the last five years, and at times during this album the wait just doesn’t seem worth it.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a return to form after the incredibly dismal First Impressions Of Earth and array of solo albums (and we won’t even mention Nickel Eye) but there still seems to be something missing here. There’s no immediate spark like there was with Is This It, this album just seems slightly schizophrenic at times.
‘Under Cover Of Darkness’ is the stand out track of the album, and the most obvious The Strokes song, so it was a shame for the band to have realised this first and got a hell of a lot of hopes up. ‘Taken For A Fool’ and ‘Two Kinds Of Happiness’ keep to the same stereotypical sound, but the rest just falls flat.
‘Lowlights’ here most definitely include the seemingly Radiohead-inspired ‘You’re So Right’ and ‘Machu Picchu’ which just seems too busy – it’s difficult to imagine them working in a live atmosphere. ‘Call Me Back’ also falls short of expectations, sounding like a bland replica of their earlier work.
And a lot of this album is. There’s nothing new, just the ghost of a band who were at the top of their game 10 years ago. This is the sound of clinging on to youth, desperately, and while it’s not the worst, it’s not what was really wanted. After all the experimentation on solo albums and the like, it’s a shame they’ve followed a Strokes-by-number routine, good at times, if a little lacklustre.