on 7 September 2001
After the magnificently catchy singles it's kind of dissapointing that all the tracks that featured on the first two singles are also featured here. The other six songs are almost as catchy but not quite up to the standard of 'Hard To Explain' and 'The Modern Age' in particular.
It's all very listenable though and perhaps the reason it's caught on so well is it's simplicity. There is nothing new or different here to countless other garage type bands of the late sixties early seventies. Music fans have been crying out for this sort of band though! Something to counteract the overproduced and overcomplicated nature of much new rock music.
The strokes debut, recorded in a mere matter of days is refrshing and really quite good. It's no masterpiece, but maybe it doesn't need to be
on 29 August 2001
well, it's been a long time coming but now that the album has finally arrived was it worth the hype?. This is the first album that since i got it i haven't been able to stop playing it . Every track is as good as the last and every track builds upon what the last achieved. They manage to have the essential elements to become a huge success, they have the songs, the attitude, the looks and more important than that they have the imagination of record buyers young and old. The songs from the two eps are songs that most of us will already be aware of and here the songs from the modern age have been re -recorded, although this seems to have made them a little more polished, it only makes them fit even more snugly into the rest of the album. They are the ultimate rock and roll band for the beginning of the 21st century. When you listen to the album the first thing that strikes more than anything is just how accomplished the songs are. For a group of 19 to 21 year olds they really are playing beyond their collective years. They seem to have swallowed up every possible influence, chewed it up and spat it back out as the most refreshing slab of rock and roll since "definitely maybe". Even though there are only six new tracks on the album they all seem to feel fresh. Soma and someday are two songs of such immense immediacey that they really could have been released as singles in their own right. Of course as with most albums this good there are always people who are going to tell you not to believe what others will say. If there is one thing that niggles when listening, it is that the lyrics are just a little vacant and perhaps just a tiny bit shallow, but hey thats a small price to pay for someting this good to listen to. If you like the idea of an album that sounds as though it was recorded by the Ramones crossed with the Smiths with Richard hell on vocals this is the album that you need to buy. If that doesn't sound like your cup of tea you really need to have your head examined.
on 3 April 2002
Forget what has been written about the band in the press, if it's putting you off buying this. So what if it's not completely original - what music is? This is an exciting, vibrant, pulsating gem of a record. Other people have said they've not felt this excited since Oasis' debut in '94. I'd go back to '89 and say not since The Stone Roses have I felt so excited about a record or a band.
If you like your rock fast, simple, and fun, filled with enthusiasm and life, then this is the album to buy. It's not rocket science, sure, but it is better than a lot of what's out there at the moment.
If you like your rock contemplative and meaningful (like I usually do) then give it a chance. Don't be a rock snob, get Is This It and revitalise your life!!!
We'll see if they do turn out to be the saviours of rock, but for now they are enough to make me glad to have ears.
on 30 October 2001
The first time I saw the video for "Last Night" I wondered how I could've missed this band during my 70's punk phase growing up, even the video has a retro look. Not to mention being completely live, a rarity... It wasn't until I heard the video again that I decided to search for the band online. Unbelievable! They're a NEW release! Wonderful minimalistic guitar, driving drums, melodic bass guitar (what happened to melodic bass parts anyway?)... and the odd Jim Morrison vocal (that's what I hear anyway). Whatever happened to these sounds from NY in the 70's? Here it is again... Just what I was missing. Keep the music coming guys.
on 6 January 2002
How anyone can compare these guys to "Oasis" or "Coldplay" (as some critics have) is beyond me. "The Strokes" owe more to "Joy Division" or "The Velvet Underground", than they do to either of the afforementioned (not to say massively over-rated) bands. The lead singer, Julian Casablancas, at times even sounds like Lou Reed.
"Is this it", is one of those rare musical treats that remains consistently brilliant from start to finish, with its catchy rythyms and chorus lines and tremendous use of the bass guitar, best captured in the albums two stand out tracks (In my opinion anyway) "Barely legal" and "Hard to explain".
The only fault I can pick up on is the relatively short playing time, just 36 minutes. Still, it's 36 minutes of class rock and roll.
"The strokes" have been touted as "the next best thing" and hailed as "The saviours of rock and roll". That remains to be seen, but British acts should take note; This is how it should be done.
on 13 December 2001
"Is This It" is without a doubt album of the year. It has everything; sweet retro rock n roll, sexy beats and band members who r really laid back. The album has 11 short and VERY sweet songs that can definately move you. Forget your Limp Bizkit's and your Blink 182's, The Strokes are coming to take over the world!! Buy this album now!!!
on 8 January 2002
I never heard of the hype surrounding the strokes because like a fellow reviewer I don't read music magazines, I saw them perform "new york city cops" and was impresssed. It wasn't a new sound but it was a familar sound that made you warm inside because finally someone was making good old fashioned rock music. The album itself did not disappoint me in the slightest. There are those who argue that it is "samey", which is a fair enough point, but each song offers something different be it a drum loop, or a great guitar riff, or bass line. It gives me a smile when I listen to it because it has a nostalgic feel about it, which is probably why I could be viewed as biased. However I would say that if you like rock'n'roll then buy this album, it will make a lovely addition to your collection.
on 18 July 2002
It's impossible to review this album without using the word "hype". So before putting it on my CD player I steeled myself for disappointment, and at first listen disappointment was pretty much what I felt. It sounded competent, rather than inspired or astonishing.
It wasn't until a few plays later that the sheer quality of this record dawned on me. The Strokes have come up with a memorable collection of songs, many surely destined to become classics, without having to resort to fussy production methods. The tracks, some of them better than others, bristle with controlled energy, and the breezy, almost casual delivery puts The Strokes ahead of the jaded cynicism of most established bands, and even the self-conscious post-modernism of, say, The White Stripes.
on 17 January 2004
In my opinion, the best debut album of all time. Despite its relatively short life span, this album rejuvenated music, and is simply class. At the moment, the strokes, together with the libertines stand head and shoulders above most other acts. I could listen to Is This It? repeatedly, and never tire of it. It'd be better without the relentless hype from NME and the like, but how can anyone not fail to be excited from listening to this. Undeniably the pattern is formulaic, but it doesn't matter, as each song is guaranteed to get you hooked. In indie disco's all over the country, the songs Someday and Last Nite generate the same amount of hysteria as favourites (in manchester) such as oasis and the stone roses.
The highlights of the album are contained within the last four songs, which absolutely blow you away. Personal favourite is Take It Or Leave It, but the last group of songs are as good as anything i've ever heard.
Despite this, it did take me quite a few listens to realise how good it is, but it's completely worth it. This is the best music around today, don't waste the opportunity to buy it.
on 28 August 2001
For once a band that lives up to the NME hype which usually surrounds a select few bands every year. Also see the 'The White Stripes'. There is not one bad track on the album and instant classics such as Barely Legal, Hard to Explain and Alone Together, will I feel, seem as breathtaking in 10 years as they do right now. 'This Is It' is not nothing new or groundbreaking, with the Velvet Underground comparisons valid, but when music is this good who cares, it is just good honest heart stopping, head pounding guitar music.
I also saw them in Sheffield [Leadmill] on the Thursday prior to the albums Monday release and they blew the audience away. Albert Hammond Jr [guitar]appeared to be the star of the band, however all the band oozed scuzzy NY charm.