The Strokes triumph on first album in seven years

Mark Kennedy

AP – On their first album in seven years, The Strokes seem to have known they’d be returning at a crazy time. “We are trying hard to get your attention,” singer Julian Casablancas sings on the first song, The Adults Are Talking.

Nine songs later, the band has definitely gotten our attention. Mission accomplished, gentlemen.

The New Abnormal is a superb slice of indie rock, varied, exciting and complex, with elements of glam, straight-down-the-line rock and dreamy pop. Produced this time by Rick Rubin, the album comes 19 years after the band’s seminal debut Is This It and is, in many ways, a fulfillment of that early potential. It’s dynamite stuff.

Brooklyn Bridge to Chorus is upbeat and poppy in a way only The Strokes can do – riding on the swells of ’80s New Wave (even asking of ’80s bands, “where did they go?”) but also commenting on the song structure. “Can we switch into the chorus right now?” And they do.

Speaking of the ’80s, Bad Decisions repurposes Billy Idol’s Dancing with Myself – he even gets a credit – and warped slices of synth propel “Why Are Sundays So Depressing.” Casablancas channels Frank Sinatra in Not the Same Anymore and leans on his upper register on the shimmering, Psychedelic Furs-ish Eternal Summer.

The New Abnormal by The Strokes. PHOTO: AP