The past five years have been a lonely and dark time for the world of rock music. Fans of The Strokes, had to fill a missing whole in their music souls with side projects and solo acts from the band’s members. The New York City-based band are music industry veterans, forming in 1998 and releasing their hit album This Is It in 2001. They were on top of the world. Unfortunately, such success came hand-in-hand with drug and alcohol abuse. There was a dark time where fans feared the day where it would be it for The Strokes.
News broke in January 2009 that frontman Julian Casablancas and guitarist Nick Valensi were writing new material for the band’s fourth album. The backstage lifestyle of the band was never praised. The band wanted to see life from different angles and they thought that an unhealthy lifestyle would open up their creativity. But it only destroyed their music.
The record was delayed. And delayed again. It was pushed back farther and farther, but things were different now. Each member was dedicated to their own side project, while Valensi and Casablancas each have their own families to care for. Casablancas and guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr. quit drinking all together, while Hammond went to rehab to treat his drug problem. The band dropped their unhealthy lifestyle completely and came clean. Their lifestyles were healthy, but how was the music turning out?
When Casablancas released his own debut solo album in 2009, he stated in interviews that the band was not happy with how the record was turning out. If the music wasn’t perfect, the record wasn’t to be dropped. They tried and tried again. The Strokes came clean, made meaningful and original music, and pleased everyone while doing it. It was a hard task, but they did it.
After quarreling amongst the band members, writing and recording, re-writing and re-recording, and pushing back the release date further and further, The Strokes’ album, Angles, was released on March 22…this year! Below is the video for their first single, ‘Under Cover of Darkness.’
If you consider yourself a music buff and rock fan, Angles is a pre-order must. Expect to see the band plastered all over magazines and for Angles to land awards all over. If you’re not into rock, do me a favor and listen to the 30 second previews on iTunes or Amazon. You might be skeptical to bringing music into your life from a band with a previously poorly publicized lifestyle, but at the end of the day, it’s not about the artist. It’s about the art, and just about the music. The Strokes are going to take the world by storm…again!