Is This It (Rough Trade CD030)
So by now you've heard this album everywhere; you've heard it at the Gap, you've heard it at parties, you've heard it at your grandma's funeral. The hipster elitist in you wants to hate it. For it to just go away. Yet it keeps calling, and every time you answer the call, you're disarmed by how friendly it is. The Strokes have hype, yeah, but what they also have is songs.
Undoubtedly "Last Nite" and "Someday" will find their way onto countless TV-advertised Hits of the 00s comps five years from now, and the rest of it will remain tied so specifically to the early part of the decade that people will continue to buy it purely for the built-in nostalgia factor. Other albums like this: Men at Work's Business As Usual, Kick by INXS, Pearl by Janis Joplin.
In the end, it won't matter that the music was good, as time goes by and the Strokes prove that they really did only have this one great record in them. Because it's very nearly as good a record as everyone thinks it is. Full of energy, smart lyrics, and melody plenty of Velvets eighth-notes but some vocal lines that wouldn't be out of place in a Harold Arlen musical. Are they doing anything new? No. Does it matter? No.
The Strokes do one thing, but they do it exceedingly well. And what's more, any resistance you have to them is simply that you wish you were them. So let them have the moment; they'll be hosting VH1 specials soon enough.
Review by Goon Gongg