The Strokes - Is This It

The Strokes seem to have named their debut album what they did in response to the incredible hype leading up to its release. While virtually unnoticed in the US for quite some time, the Strokes managed to build a substantial fanbase in England and elsewhere in the UK. A while after the record's release, the band was soon joined by fellow indie rockers the Hives, the White Stripes, and the Vines in what is being deemed as a "garage-rock revival".

Upon first hearing the record, listeners will immediately notice the parallels between the Strokes and fellow New Yorkers, the Velvet Underground and Television. Singer Julian Casablancas takes a lot of his vocal cues directly from Lou Reed, and at times the intertwining guitar work of Albert Hammond Jr. and Nick Valensi is equally reminiscent of the late 60's rock stylings. While the band pays homage to their proto-punk predecessors, they have enough of an original approach to sound fresh and enough pop-appeal to draw in anyone who gives them a listen.

"Is This It" opens the record with a lulling guitar melody and quirky bassline. It then moves to "The Modern Age", which is a nostalgic revisit to late 60's guitar rock. The album later progresses to more tracks with seductive pop-hooks like "Someday" and "Last Night", both of which were singles. Towards the end, the CD begins to lag slightly. While the closing tracks are all still listenable, they don't work as well as the earlier songs.

While the Strokes draw heavily from past bands, they manage to come off as a believeable substitute for today's generation. They have attitude, pop-sensibility, and overall appeal. It's true that they happened to come along as a seemingly manufactured band, but when you look at the mainstream pop of today, you'll be glad they're at least striving for a change.


Buy It

1. Is This It
2. The Modern Age
3. Soma
4. Barely Legal
5. Someday
6. Alone, Together
7. Last Night
8. Hard to Explain
9. When It Started
10. Trying Your Luck
11. Take It Or Leave It

Written by: Tosh

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