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The Strokes Album Review: “The Singles Volume 01”

The Strokes album, “The New Abnormal,” revisits B sides and hits.

The Strokes, who have deeply influenced the world of garage and alternative rock since the early 2000s, continue to release albums with their iconic gritty sound combined with Julian Casablancas’s distinct vocals.. In 2020, The Strokes released “The New Abnormal” seven years after their fifth studio album, “Comedown Machine.” “The New Abnormal” grew into such a success that it soon became a Top Ten hit in several countries and won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards the following year. 

In February, The Strokes released “The Singles Volume 01.” This album does not consist of new songs like their previous album, but it takes dedicated listeners back to the classic times of The Strokes’s golden era. It includes B-sides and rarities that fans have been eagerly waiting for.

“The Singles Volume 01” was initially sold as a seven-inch vinyl box set. It comprised the 10 original vinyl singles with unique and beautifully crafted cover art from the band’s first three studio albums: “Is This It,” “Room on Fire,” and my personal favorite, “First Impressions of Earth.”

The album opens with the rough trade versions of their most famous tracks, “The Modern Age” and “Last Nite,” from 2001’s “Is This It.”

Each song sparkles with every chord they strike and every chorus Julian Casablancas sings. The Strokes concocted these angst-filled yet effervescent jams that have aged finely. Nick Valensi’s guitar solo in “The Modern Age” and Albert Hammond Jr.’s guitar solo in “Last Nite” are the most crisp and recognizable melodies from “Is This It.” As an electric guitarist, I was ecstatic to hear these rough trade versions, and I couldn’t wait to enjoy all the B-sides because they exemplify the band’s signature crunchy tone and vivacious facade of their songs. I’ve never been happier to have this album on Spotify since I no longer have to find such rarities on YouTube or SoundCloud.

What I love most about The Strokes is that they experiment with various genres, which is demonstrated in “The Singles Volume 01.” “12:51” captures Nikolai Fraiture’s essential bass lines and Fabrizio Moretti’s energetic drumming that ties the harmonies together. I am especially delighted that “12:51” is a part of “The Singles Volume 01” because it is the track that laid the foundation for my music taste and admiration for The Strokes.

After the nostalgic journey through different rock styles and spirits, the album includes a heartfelt and mellow demo version of “You Only Live Once” called “I’ll Try Anything Once” by vocalist and primary songwriter Julian Casablancas. His vocal range and ability to create emotional connections through songwriting shine in his solo pieces. The way he pours his heart into the lyrics of  “I’ll Try Anything Once” and the gentle sound of his isolated voice and keyboard never cease to amaze or inspire me. 

“The Singles Volume 01” has exceeded my expectations as a collection of emotionally touching and technically excellent songs.

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  • BaileyFeb 4, 2024 at 7:41 PM

    The depth of description this article went into, categorizing a brief history of The Strokes as well as adding vivid depictions of the mood derived from a variety of their songs and albums, was very gripping and made an appealing case for getting into this band if one has not already.

  • simaFeb 4, 2024 at 2:30 PM

    great diction and word choice. this article intrigued me to go listen to the album! I also got a lot of background on the band and each song.

  • Katie HFeb 4, 2024 at 2:00 PM

    This is super well written and on such a geart topic! This album includes a really great collection of songs.