"The New Abnormal" album cover by Jean-Michel Basquiat, a painting of an abstract blue bird.

Revisiting The New Abnormal One Year Later

By Lesly Milan
Music Journalist

It has been over a year since The Strokes released their sixth studio album, “The New Abnormal.”

Throughout this last year, the album has received mixed reviews from devoted fanatics and new listeners. Overall, “The New Abnormal” has proven to be a successful album and even won the Best Rock Album Grammy Award at the 2021 Annual Grammy Awards.  

The 45-minute long album consists of nine songs that follow The Strokes’ signature instrumental sound and well-thought-out lyrics.

While you can instantly tell that “The New Abnormal” was created by The Strokes, I do not believe that it can be compared to any of their previous albums. The album is simply different and new, but in a good way.  

Upon the album’s release, “Why Are Sundays So Depressing,” “Selfless” and “The Adults Are Talking” appeared to be some of the most favorable tracks off of the album.

“Selfless” proved to be a go-to song for a daily crying session while “What Are Sundays So Depressing” conveyed the exact dreadful feeling that Sundays bring. “The Adults Are Talking” was already an instant hit since it was released as a single, along with “Brooklyn Bridge To Chorus” and “Bad Decisions.”

“The Adults Are Talking” received a normal amount of recognition compared to the other top songs upon first release. Recently, this song has gained recognition and momentum on the TikTok app. The app’s users have popularized the song by using it in short videos, and it currently has over 59 million streams on Spotify.  

Out of all of the albums released during 2020, “The New Abnormal” comes out on top as my personal favorite album of the year. It is one of those albums that I can thoroughly listen to without any skips.

While I truly enjoy the most popular songs and the singles off of the album, the remaining songs, “Eternal Summer,” “At The Door,” “Not The Same Anymore” and “Ode To The Mets” are just as worthy to me. 

Based on their past album releases, I was expecting the typical, exceptionally good Strokes album, but “The New Abnormal” exceeded my expectations. Many artists change and experiment with their sound as the years go on, but The Strokes have stayed faithful to their roots, which has made them recognizable and individualistic.

Even if they were to change their sound completely, there is not doubt in my mind that their music would still top the charts. 

One year later, I still regularly listen to “The New Abnormal,” and I am instantly filled with a feeling of nostalgia as soon as I hear any song off of the album. Listening to this album for the first time is a moment I wish I could experience again. I am prepared and excited to see what The Strokes will release next! 

You can listen to “The New Abnormal” on Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music and most other streaming platforms.

Featured image by Jean-Michel Basquiat.

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