The New Abnormal (Cult/RCA)
The Strokes are back and, yes, they still play their instruments as if they picked them up only a few weeks ago. The good news is, they’ve got a nifty batch of songs that actually find a way to shine, in spite of the lack of chops.
“The Adults Are Talking” sounds like a lost new wave demo from 1979, in a good way, and “Selfless” finds vocalist Julian Casablancas doing his best EMO-Mick Jagger. “Eternal Summer” is prime walkabout soundtrack stuff, like Beck in a rainstorm, sans umbrella.
Lots of nice textures and guitar layers make The New Abnormal much more interesting than past releases. Bueno.