Review - Is This It?

Artist: The Strokes


After months of hype and gushing press, The Strokes' debut full-length lives up to its unimpressed title. Febrile claims that the New York-based quintet resurrects the shade-wearing days of the Velvet Underground, Television and other cool NYC rock bands go unvalidated. The clipped and chugging guitars sometimes bear a resemblance to those groups, but the album's tinny, head-cold sonics sound cheap rather than edgy. And as great as it is to hear good rock with no indie or pop-punk or mook-metal tags, there isn't a truly great song in the bunch.

Spend a little time with "Is This It?," though, and you start to realize that the album's overarching ambivalence isn't happenstance. From the weary, sing-song title track through the up-date of Pete Townsend's "Hard to Explain" to the album-ending stormer "Take It or Leave It," the band's collective post-slacker shrugging and hedging start to sound as valid as any other rock pose in the early 21st century. Eventually, those good but not great songs start to sound like they would sound great live. The Strokes might just be for real ... but is there more?


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.