The New Abnormal


A review by Sacha Fleming, DJ Ramblin’ Rose

Tell us a story, I know you’re not boring. Here’s a little fairytale I like to tell about The Strokes. This band is just about as New York as a dollar slice of pizza, or Carrie Bradshaw. The embodiment of teenage rebellion, ill-tempered synths and marble-mouthed whispers. For the last two decades, The Strokes have cemented themselves as rock icons and changed the direction of music as we know it. In the time of COVID-19 and concerts constantly getting canceled, the question I want to ask is, is this really the New Abnormal? I mean, Is This It? Ha, ha, ha, what perfect album titles. At least The Strokes are back, and loud. 

Since 2013’s The Comedown Machine, The Strokes have been constantly on tour. And they announced their latest album New Year’s Eve night. The nine-track record was all produced by Rick Rubin and recorded at his Shangri-La Studios in Malibu, California. The album projects a loungy, moody and even seductive tone. Far different from 2011’s Angles and their classic garage debut. That’s the main reason I love this band so much. There’s no written formula or gimmicks. Casablanca’s’s grungy crooner-like vocals in Bad Decisions are soothing and steady. Co-written with Billy Idol, the song has some elements of an 80’s classic, “Dancing With Myself.” It’s a fun song to dance to when there is nothing to do. It’s no wonder why Alex Turner sang about wanting to be one of the Strokes. It’s just too good. Another song that needs some attention is “The Adults are Talking.” With a gentle tempo, this new wave bop picks up with tight songwriting and a killer bass. Think of it as a love story. It opens a chain of related events and comes at you unexpectedly. It’s crisp and perfect. 

“You’re not the same anymore / Don’t want to play that game anymore,” Casablancas sings in a slow ballad at the end of the album. While there is no upcoming tour and everything seems depressing, The Strokes have not stopped creating. Whether they’re experimenting with solo acts or performing at small gigs, at least I can count on these guys and musicians continuing to share their stories…they remind me that rock and roll will never die.

Congratulations to DJ Ramblin’ Rose for graduating from SUNY New Paltz! All of us at WFNP will miss your radio show, music reviews, and most of all your passion!

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