Sound — 8
The sound of this album, like all of their other albums is very distinct and different from their previous ventures. On their first two albums, Julian and mates were going for a very straight forward sound that would immediately grab the listener due to its punchy hooks and catchy choruses. These factors that were lost on the 3rd album are returned to on "Comedown Machine." Every song sounds like a distinct Strokes song, encompassing Julian's weird but compelling vocals. Julian's vocals never get boring, and each song utilizes them in a different way. Julian has never really attempted the things that he does in this album, and is some way that has become polarizing for their fans. His falsetto on songs like "One Way Trigger," "Tap Out," "Call It Fate" are prime examples of how talented this man is. Also, the return to the original Strokes sound is most noticeable in songs like "All the Time," "One Way Trigger," "Happy Ending," and "Welcome to Japan."
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics are always special thanks to Julian. No one has the ability. It's and discipline that Julian has to write a perfect song. Everything from the line on the opening track "Tap Out" "we don't have to know each other's names" saying how we can have a good time without knowing each other's names, to "One Way Trigger" "but there's a million reasons to leave" which encompasses the urgency that The Strokes are known for. The song writing is shared between all the band members, with their guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. Actually writing the guitar and lyrics for "One Way Trigger."
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, I would say this is my favourite Strokes album and probably one of my favourites of all time. It's a perfect mix of modern music with the same urgent music that the strokes are known for. This album has gotten a bad rep due to the different sound it has from its predecessors, but it's still in the same level. If anything, songs like "One Way Trigger," "Welcome to Japan," "Chances" and "Happy Ending" are some of the best songs I've heard from The Strokes. Hope you get the chance to listen and jam to this album as well!