What if the statement lyric on the best song off your most critical album — Dare we call it a comeback? We dare. — was a lie?
“It’s so early I don’t want to wake up./We’re so lucky because we never grow up,” Julian Casablancas sings 105 seconds into “Taken For A Fool.”
Which: fine and inspiring and let’s go drink on the LES until well past 12:51. Etc.
But also: totally, completely, and most importantly, obviously untrue.
Grown up problems defined the making of “Angles.” I know this. You know this. Anyone with a passing interest in the state of Music White People Like knows this. The spider web fractures that extended during the post Is This It years finally broke. Four out of five Strokes recorded the album while Casablancas filled in his parts from afar.
Put the feelings of the group on a scale between love and hate, and you’ll find the weight tilting toward the latter.
A line from 2001: “The Strokes, even on their debut album, sound like experienced professionals for whom mastering the form seems only an album away.”
Three albums later, the existence of Angles indicates the professionalism remains but simultaneously demonstrates how unmastered the form is.
A decade ago — which, you know, sometimes seems like it was only last night — Casablancas knew for sure he was walking out that door.
To where never really mattered.
He knows now where the exit leads. Occasionally, you get the impression he wishes it was all just a dream.
Or maybe just a lie.