The Deal: Strokes deliver a slick commercial product that feels like a sellout.
THE GOOD: I really wanted to like this record, but I just can't find anything worth hearing over and over.
The Bad: Pretty much everything. Once heralded as a garage band and the future of rock 'n' roll, on this outing The Strokes come off as teenybopper bubblegum rockers. For the band's debut, Is This It, The Strokes were jangly, angular and edgy, with enough rough edges to slice your ears up. Their sound was raw garagey enough to draw comparisons to the Stooges. There's nothing left of that here. Most of the stuff has a sappy '80s vibe. "Gratisfaction" sounds like Billy Joel. "Under Cover of Darkness" borrows heavily from the insipid pop of Katrina and the Waves' '83 hit "Walking on Sunshine." "Machu Picchu" sounds like Duran Duran. "You're So Right" is the only thing remotely interesting on the record, and that's only because it's a break from the unfortunately predictable mediocrity of the rest of the thing.
The Verdict: Angles sounds like a band trying too hard to be commercial and succeeding, but surrendering their souls in the process.