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Is This It

3.9 out of 5 stars 1,090 customer reviews

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With all the media hype that dogged the Strokes before the release of their debut album, it's rather apt that they chose the title Is This It. On the strength of just five songs released on two singles, the Strokes were being hailed as everything from the saviors of rock & roll to the Savior himself. Surely, few bands could live up to the impossibly high standards set for this young five-piece, but the band needn't have worried: Is This It is one of the most exciting and energetic debut albums to spring from New York's long-dormant club scene. In fact, the Strokes are a New York City band through and through; like the Velvet Underground, these are a bunch of uptown artsy types elegantly slumming downtown to the tried and tested themes of sex, drugs, and rock & roll. Their singer-songwriter, the fantastically named Julian Casablancas, delivers his lyrics with a weary nonchalance that belies his age on songs like the title track, "Soma," "Hard to Explain," and the altogether wonderful "Barely Legal." And the band recalls the likes of Television and the Stooges on "Last Nite" and "The Modern Age." Let's hope this sexy, stylish, and undeniably cool band is the future of rock & roll. --Robert Burrow
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 9, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: October 9, 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 35 minutes
  • ASIN: B00005QIPH
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,090 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,211 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I have this feeling that the people who are so mercilessly bashing these guys are more outraged by all the hype that surrounds this young band.Having picked up on The Strokes "post-hype", I was able to listen with an un-biased ear and take the music for what it really was.Sure, there isn't anything ground-breaking here-but the music is fresh, its fun, energetic, and very enjoyable. "The Strokes" aren't musical gods, but they write sweet tunes, and the instrumentation is tight. They don't sound like every other band out there, and their popularity is easily credible to the fact that their music is genuinely fun without sacrificing the band's artistic integrity.

Is This It is a VERY fun and upbeat album. There isn't a single downer-if you don't get the urge to nod your head somewhere in the middle of the album, something is seriously wrong with you. So, chill out, ignore the hype, turn the music up, and sing along to this fresh, fun, and zesty band.
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Format: Audio CD
I admit that I jumped on the Stroke-wagon a little late but I'm glad I climbed aboard. I really appreciate albums without filler. "Is This It" is just that, strong all that way through. The walking basslines of the title track mesh perfectly with Julian's vocals. The beginning of "Last Night" will remind you immediatley of "American Girl" by Tom Petty but comes into it's own after the first few bars. Throwing down a few more ducats gets you the original album artwork which was banned in the US (the whole situation is very reminiscent of Spinal Tap's "Smell the Glove", STRANGE), and the song "NYC Cops", which was left off the US release after the WTC 9/11. This song is the most "punk" on the CD. Aside from the multitude of 70s band comparisons (Television), if you like good, bar band rock this IS it.
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Format: Audio CD
What if I could offer you instant happiness? This happiness could be obtained without having to take any pills, invest large sums of money, vote Socialist in the next election or meet any new and interesting friends in the county lock-up. My guess is that most of you would be interested in my offer. Now, that you're interested, all you have to do is find your way to the nearest mall or dot com so you can obtain the 2001 release, "Is This It", by the band The Strokes. It is not merely a collection of tunes; it is an ecstatic dose of acoustic Wellbutrin.

I'm still trying to figure out what happened with this record even though I bought it over three years ago. One minute I was slogging along with my anti-pop culture friends and deriding this age of musical nihilism and the next I'm in my living room singing "He won't decide but he won't debate."

I purchased the CD after hearing the addictive radio single, "Last Night." I usually don't buy a lot of new releases, as I'm often severely disappointed. It is rare when I find the popular stuff worthwhile. Yet, the first time I heard the record I knew it was special before the sixth or seventh song even began to play. Their sound is effervescent and stimulates regardless of the volume at which they are heard. Many may dismiss their compositions as being merely "catchy" but I think this is incorrect. There is a quiet complexity to their sound and, as my friend Grange put it, "They're so smooth it's actually deceptive- because there's actually a whole lot going on."

I will acknowledge that their physical appearance is not confidence inspiring. They appear on television in ultra-trendy dress and their liner note photos make them look as if they each individually drank three barrels apiece from the fountain of youth.
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Format: Audio CD
"Blah blah blah, I'm too indie for you, this album sucks, it's too hyped, it's been done, etc." Sound like anything you've read recently?
The funny thing about hype--I think--is that it works both ways. People complain that an album sucks because it's "too hyped", but, aren't they really just buying into the hype? I had never even heard of The Strokes until I downloaded some of their stuff off of epitonic.com. I was totally blown away. I am a die-hard fan of vintage rock and roll, and rarely listen to anything made past the 1980's, and I love this album. Yes, they have influences--every band does--but they have added something to the old "insert 1 part angst, two parts catchy guitar riffs, 1 part good hair" formula that people have been copying for years. One thing is apparent about this album that I value: The Strokes aren't trying to hard to be obscure and different--they're just playing good old rock and roll for music's sake, and what, may I ask, is wrong with that?
But, whatever, I'm not going to lend a hand to you clueless fools who choose to buy into the pretentious anti-hype. You can listen to the indie-posers and I will keep The Strokes all to myself. Thank you!
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Format: Audio CD
I went ahead and bought this limited edition 2-pack. Since I don't have MTV2, and therefore never get to see these videos, I figured it was a good deal. And I'm glad I got it! The videos look even better on DVD, and the two performances from MTV's $2 Bill show are nice to have. So buy this special edition release and pass your original CD on to someone who doesn't have it yet!
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