Is This It?

( 39 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
Hands down the most anticipated rock-'n'-roll debut of 2001, the Strokes' Is This It? comes burdened with unrealistic expectations: that it will save guitar rock, that it's the reincarnation of 1970s CBGB's punk attitude, that it's this year's definitive New York album. Whatever. Forget the hype and just relish this swaggering, infectious, street-smart album. Vocalist Julian Casablancas falls in the tradition of gritty urban art-punks who trace their roots to Lou Reed and Iggy Pop, but Casablancas adds a nod to the Fall's Mark E. Smith. What makes this band of young New Yorkers -- prep school refugees in their early 20s -- exceptional is their balance of a sexy, rock ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
Hands down the most anticipated rock-'n'-roll debut of 2001, the Strokes' Is This It? comes burdened with unrealistic expectations: that it will save guitar rock, that it's the reincarnation of 1970s CBGB's punk attitude, that it's this year's definitive New York album. Whatever. Forget the hype and just relish this swaggering, infectious, street-smart album. Vocalist Julian Casablancas falls in the tradition of gritty urban art-punks who trace their roots to Lou Reed and Iggy Pop, but Casablancas adds a nod to the Fall's Mark E. Smith. What makes this band of young New Yorkers -- prep school refugees in their early 20s -- exceptional is their balance of a sexy, rock star attitude with old-fashioned rock-'n'-roll rhythms that might actually get jaded, black-clad hipsters up and dancing. "Last Nite" lifts the bass line from the Supremes' "You Can't Hurry Love" and the guitar hook from Tom Petty's "American Girl" and arrives somewhere entirely new but completely familiar -- and irresistible. The 36-minute album includes all the songs from the singles that prompted the hype, although some of the versions differ. Maybe some tracks have more 'tude than tune, but that's quibbling in the face of such brash, exuberant, and genuinely exciting songs as "The Modern Age," "Someday," and "Hard to Explain." Perhaps the album title alludes to the inevitable letdown following a surge of hype, but the band needn't have worried: Yes, this is it.
All Music Guide - Heather Phares
Blessed and cursed with an enormous amount of hype from the British press, the Strokes prove to be one of the few groups deserving of their glowing reviews. Granted, their high-fashion appeal and faultless influences -- Television, the Stooges, and especially Lou Reed and the Velvets -- have "critics' darlings" written all over them. But like the similarly lauded Elastica and Supergrass before them, the Strokes don't rehash the sounds that inspire them -- they remake them in their own image. On the Modern Age EP, singles like Hard to Explain, and their full-length debut, Is This It, the N.Y.C. group presents a pop-inflected, second-generation take on late-'70s New York punk, complete with raw, world-weary vocals, spiky guitars, and an insistently chugging backbeat. However, their songs also reflected their own early-twenties lust for life; singer/songwriter/guitarist Julian Casablancas and the rest of the band mix swaggering self-assurance with barely concealed insecurity on "The Modern Age" and reveal something akin to earnestness on "Barely Legal" -- a phrase that could apply to the Strokes themselves -- in the song's soaring choruses. The group revamps "Lust for Life" on "New York City Cops" and combines their raw power and infectious melodies on "Hard to Explain," arguably the finest song they've written in their career. Nearly half of Is This It consists of their previously released material, but that's not really a disappointment since those songs are so strong. What makes their debut impressive, however, is that the new material more than holds its own with the tried-and-true songs. "Is This It" sets the joys of being young, jaded, and yearning to a wonderfully bouncy bassline; "Alone Together" and "Trying Your Luck" develop the group's brooding, coming-down side, while "Soma," "Someday," and "Take It or Leave It" capture the Strokes at their most sneeringly exuberant. Able to make the timeworn themes of sex, drugs, and rock & roll and the basic guitars-drum-bass lineup seem new and vital again, the Strokes may or may not be completely arty and calculated, but that doesn't prevent Is This It from being an exciting, compulsively listenable debut. [In light of the World Trade Center disaster, the track "New York City Cops" was pulled from the U.S. release].
Rolling Stone - Joe Levy
So what does the best young rock band in America sound like? Frantic, for starters…. The short, choppy guitar riffs and bottles-breaking-on-the-sidewalk drumbeats bring to mind the punk rock of New York and London, to be sure, but Is This It jumps along like punk as played by a boogie band; that is, a band in a mad rush to get to the finish and gram a cold beer and a warm girl.… [It's] more joyful and intense than anything else I've heard this year.
Blender - Mark Lepage
The biggest draw is the Iggy-Jagger sexual charisma of 22-year-old singer Julian Casablancas, whose self-possessed cool is astonishing.

So what does the best young rock band in America sound like? Frantic, for starters…. The short, choppy guitar riffs and bottles-breaking-on-the-sidewalk drumbeats bring to mind the punk rock of New York and London, to be sure, but Is This It jumps along like punk as played by a boogie band; that is, a band in a mad rush to get to the finish and gram a cold beer and a warm girl.… [It's] more joyful and intense than anything else I've heard this year.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/1/2001
  • Label: Rca
  • UPC: 078636804514
  • Catalog Number: 68045
  • Sales rank: 397

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Is That It (2:35)
  2. 2 The Modern Age (3:32)
  3. 3 Soma (2:37)
  4. 4 Barely Legal (3:58)
  5. 5 Someday (3:07)
  6. 6 Alone, Together (3:12)
  7. 7 Last Nite (3:17)
  8. 8 Hard to Explain (3:47)
  9. 9 When It Started (3:36)
  10. 10 Trying Your Luck (3:27)
  11. 11 Take It or Leave It (3:16)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Strokes Primary Artist
Fabrizio Moretti Drums
Nikolai Fraiture Bass
Julian Casablancas Vocals
Nick Valensi Guitar
Technical Credits
Greg Calbi Mastering
Gordon Raphael Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 39 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(32)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    best album since london calling

    i have heard many of the good albums to come out since london calling (nevermind, ten, ...and justice for all, born in the usa, joshua tree, love and theft) but this album beats all of those. it is a fantastic album with great music. and considering every other group out today looks the same, uses les paul's, doesn't do drugs, and use the same power chords every song, this group is a great alternative buy this album

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2014

    LOVE IT! Phenomenal!

    LOVE IT! Phenomenal!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Best Album Of The Decade?

    One could say that The Strokes---along with The White Stripes---not only kicked-started the garage-rock movement in the first decade of the 21st Century but also revived the genre of rock. When they released their first album, "Is This It?" in 2001, it was greeted with much hype and lots of accolades. They were richly deserved. Listening to this record was like taking a time machine back to New York in the early to mid 1970's when The New York Dolls were still in tact and President Ford told the financially strapped Gotham to drop dead. "Is This It?" not only captured the grimy DIY spirit of that time but also brought back the memories of the beginnings of punk, particularly Television.

    The comparison to Television is clear because lead singer Julian Casablancas does sing like Tom Verlaine and guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr. plays like Richard Lloyd. They deliver a devil-may-care attitude which is sorely missing from a lot of music nowadays. However, this wouldn't work so much if The Strokes didn't have a great rhythm section, which they do. Almost every song on the album, especially "Last Nite", "Hard To Explain" and "Someday", sticks in your mind from the moment you hear it. The record also reminds us how guitar-based music also seems to make a comeback whenever times get hard, like they did in the doom-and-gloom of the mid-to-late Seventies and like they are in this Great Recession we're living in today.

    Since this record came out, The Strokes have only released two other albums. Casablancas has done some impressive work on "Dark Night Of The Soul" with Danger Mouse and David Lynch. There is talk about a fourth album in the works but The Strokes have been laying low for the most part. Still, even if they never made another album again, "Is This It?" stands out in a big way. Some believe it could be the best rock album of the decade. They may be right.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    You will love this music

    This is the type of music all the family can enjoy not just teens. It's upbeat music. Very enjoyable and would recommend to all.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Is This It? Best CD of the 00's

    I love this album, and I don't even care for punk. But this album is moving and Casablancas is hypnotic in his lyrics. It all sounds like a finely tuned machine, that needs oil. It's great though. One of my favorite CDs

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This is it!

    Did you even hear their songs? It is so addictive if you ask me. They are one of the best rock and rollers ever. I liked them since i was 12 yrs. old (2002). I probably am the youngest fan of the strokes. They're hot and they rock!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    My Hero Band

    I could talk all about how there are cooler, more talented, and less apreciated bands than the Strokes, but I won't. When I listen to this disk, I can't help enjoying myself. There sound is so smooth and radio friendly, in the most refreshing way. OK, they don't live up to Televsion, let alone the Velvet Underground, but not everyone is old enough to remember who those guys were. I admit it, if it wasn't for the Strokes, I wouldn't have discovered their great predecessors. Besides, these guys have a blend of styles that creates their own unique sound. They're not ripping off anyone's style, this is truly them. And hey, if you listen to this album without tapping your foot, your either dead, or too old to listen to good rock & roll anymore.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Amazing but what about the props

    I have heard of this stuff about the battle between the bands this year. You know who is the best band, White Stripes, Vines, Hives. What about the strokes? It has been, oh it is between the Vines and the Hives. Those three are all good bands and deserve it, but the Strokes were the ones who started it all. They were the big thing before the Vines or Hives hit it big. Now you can think different, but that is what I think. It doesn't matter who You think is the best out of the bands, just that you like this CD because it is an amazing one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Strokes Rock

    The Strokes CD was the greatest CD I have listened to since Nirvana's "Nevermind." I have had this CD since July and I haven't listened to anything else. In my opinion, The Strokes are the saviors of rock.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best album ever created

    this is hands down the best cd i have ever heard in my entire life. these peole are finally reviving the mainstream music with catchy, underground, innovative rhythms. if i could, i would have a chip implanted into my head so that i could listen to this album over and over again for the rest of my life!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    They lack originality and passion

    With the garage punk revival in full swing, many new bands have come into prominence hoping to take away the MTV "alternative" crown from reigning Blink 182 and Green Day. I hate to break the news to you, folks, but the Strokes aren't gonna save rock and roll. For all you kids that are bitter because you were born too late to see the Who or the Clash in their prime, keep your heads up and find something unique to your own generation. You don't need a throwback like the Strokes. How are you gonna be rebellious if you're listening to the same music as your parents? Besides, the Strokes have an insipid and contrived sound. Everything is produced well except for Julian Casablanca's vocals, which just makes you think. As a side note, The Hives and the White Stripes have a lot more energy, better songs, and much sharper clothes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Yes, this is it . . .

    Simply put, this is the best album I've heard in the past 25 years. It blows away everything playing on the radio right now. It's rock and roll with brilliance, balls, anger and beauty. Comparisons to ''punk'' bands from the late '70s are apparently pity-inspired compliments to late '70s bands, because, with IS THIS IT, Julian and the boys have already surpassed any and all things those (mostly) amateurs achieved. Bottom line: this album kicks a** and will stay on your turntable or CD changer for good.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    BLOODY BRILLIANT!!!!!!

    This is one awesome CD, I must say. I never knew how cool they'd turn out to be! I heard about them from a friend and I kept saying I'd check it out, then I never got to. I kept putting it off for a really long time, and now that I've finally listened to them, they're so tight. Great job, guys. :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Incredible energy...

    The Strokes are simply one of the coolest bands ever. Immediately catchy, addictive, and wonderfully energetic music. This is great music, and Julian Casablancas has more charisma than any other frontman out there. BUY THIS ALBUM!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Strokes are completely wonderful!

    If you haven't already bought the Strokes cd, THEN DO IT NOW! I love The Strokes, they remind me of such wonderful bands as The Ramones and The Velvet Underground. The Strokes are truely one of the most original and extrodinary bands to date!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Love this cd!

    I bought this cd after listening to it for only 20 minutes. I loved it immediately. I would highly reccomend buying it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    These guys just Rock

    Yo...these guys just ROCK OUT. i listened to their album on my drive back from school (6 hours) and it kept me entertained the 2 times i listened to it. these guys rock hard.real hard.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Album of Da Year

    This is what rock is susposed to be.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Strokes Cool!

    Excellent debut album.''Modern Age'' for song of the year.''Barely Legal'' and ''Is This It'' also great songs. A shame ''NYCC'' was left off the american cd version.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A really great album

    I heard of the Strokes about a two months ago through an article in a magazine. I bought their album about a month ago, not expecting much because of all the ''hype'' around them, but as soon as I put in my CD player I find that I just can't take it out. I listen to it everyday and had the pleasure of seeing them in concert a month ago. If you love rock music, then try this album out. I can't wait to see what they do next.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews