2001, Music

Is This It (2001) by the Strokes

So I avoided this like the plague when it came out: it was too trendy for me, but I also didn’t like Casablancas highly affected voice (it’s not that I dislike his voice, it’s more that I dislike the way he uses it most of the time), and, when picking between the “The” bands, I was firmly on the side of the blues rock influenced one over all the others.

But over the years this has become a staple. I was shocked to know 4 of the songs pretty well, and I don’t even listen to the radio. They’ve just been on at parties, in friends’ cars, and so forth. And it’s really hard to deny this record: it has such an aura of “cool” to it (whether or not you think it’s cool) and everything is executed rather perfectly.

Mostly this band isn’t anywhere near as musically interesting as the other “New York guitar bands” they are so often compared with but the lead guitarist is good enough that he makes you forget that during his solos. And, as I said, the execution is just so spot on – this is a band that knows exactly what it wants to sound like, and sounds just like that.

But all that being said, I will never really get the hype. This is a very good record, but the Ya Ya Yas are more interesting (and more gripping) and I’m not sure that I will ever bother with another Strokes record unless someone really insists on it.

8/10

  1. “Is This It” 2:35
  2. “The Modern Age” 3:32
  3. “Soma” 2:38
  4. “Barely Legal” 3:54
  5. “Someday” 3:07
  6. “Alone, Together” 3:12
  7. “Last Nite” 3:18
  8. “Hard to Explain” 3:48
  9. “New York City Cops” 3:36
  10. “Trying Your Luck” 3:28
  11. “Take It or Leave It”

All tracks written by Julian Casablancas

  • Julian Casablancas – vocals
  • Albert Hammond, Jr. – guitar
  • Nick Valensi – guitar
  • Nikolai Fraiture – bass guitar
  • Fabrizio Moretti – drums

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