Is This It – The Strokes (2001)

Verdict – 9.1

The debut album by indie/garage rock band The Strokes was a defining point of the decade, revitalizing and re-invigorating life into all things guitar related and starting a wave of new artists in their attempt to replicate or better Is This It. Simply put, no other albums came close. The charisma, confidence and general rhythm found here is astounding, sounding like a 70’s band in their prime, The Strokes achieved far more than they possibly ever thought.

Is This It opens with the title track, which has a bassline that is brilliantly simple and catchy. Followed by an album highlight, The Modern Age, which has a great display in vocals accompanied by a repetitive guitar line and a solo that sets up the rest of the record perfectly, showing The Strokes mean business. The album’s best track, Someday, has relatable lyrics about relationships which immediately make it accessible, accompany that with one of the catchiest guitar and bass riffs, and an attention grabbing post-chorus breakdown, and you have one of the best songs of the decade. With Last Nite, they managed to make a song about depression and generally feeling sad for no reason, into one of the most likeable and most-feel good songs on the album. As always, and as the case for almost every song on the album, the guitars are the star attraction, as every song has inventive riffs and are a great showcase of ability.

If you go into Is This It with expectations of a new revelation in rock music, or something that will rival the best albums in terms of creativity, you will likely to be a bit disappointed. This is an old-school rock record, with no intention of disguising itself. Even though that may limit its appeal, it does the intended job so expertly and efficiently, that we have easily one of the most captivating, influential and best albums of the decade.

Top Songs – The Modern Age, Someday, Last Nite


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