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Is This It


Price: CDN$ 8.37 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Is This It + Angles (Vinyl)
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1. Is This It
2. The Modern Age
3. Soma
4. Barely Legal
5. Someday
6. Alone, Together
7. Last Nite
8. Hard To Explain
9. When It Started
10. Trying Your Luck
11. Take It Or Leave It

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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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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD
I'll start this off by saying: I may be biased. My sister gave me this record when it was released back when I was still in high school and it pushed me from being a casual music fan to getting on an endless journey of finding great music. So if you think that the strokes aren't cool enough to push anyone to like music, you can stop reading now as your probably now biased against my opinion.

I used to listen to this all the time and even today and pop it in and enjoy it as though I'm hearing it for the first time. Every song fits. Every melody and sounds seem perfectly placed. Every lyric is still embedded in my memory.

Despite the likeness of Casablanca's voice and singing style to that of Lou Reed, this is no VU record. It doesn't break ground, push the limits of music through insane distortion or even contain life altering lyrics that you would expect from someone touting this as a must own record. What it has is pace, style and songs so catchy you'll be singing them in your head for months to come. Lyrics awesome enough to think about and smile, recalling past experiences in your life. Musical backing that sweeps you and engages you through the entire record.

Some people buy this because they heard "Last Night" one day while at a bar. This cd isn't about "Last Night". It's a great song. It's song #7 and that's where it belongs: between the slower "Alone, together" and the faster "Hard to Explain".

Some people buy this because they like Interpol and these two bands seem to get compared all the time. All they have in common is that both bands released and album near each other that happened to be amazing (If your looking for more Interpol, I recommend the Stills' "Logic Will break your Heart").
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Format: Audio CD
Considering the enormous amount of hype the came attached with this album on its first release, it's interesting to see several years on if it still stands up to closer scrutiny. And surprisingly the answer is an emphatic 'Yes'. The raw paired down sound, still feels vital and self-assured, energetic and anxious. Tracks such as "Is This it" & "Last Nite" still brim with a confident swagger from a band that were yet to truly establish themselves as a viable act. "Alone Together" & "Trying your luck" express the more contemplative side to the band, that dismissed critics arguements that the band were a pastiche of new wave 80's bands like "Blondie", "The Police"....(although I'll concede that the band are obvious admirers of "the Velvet Underground"). Even though the songs that weren't released as singles and make up the rest of the album ("Trying Your luck", Take it or leave it", "Someday"), still remain impressive even today, and more importantly their knack with an infectious melody appears to be no one off!!! And although the jerky guitars, Convulsive drumming and exuberant sneer of vocalist "Julian Casablancas'" urgent singing, has since been copied a thousand times over since the release of this debut. Many people will still come here, to find the answers to the raw, revealing and minimal production values, that were able to make the mainstream (mostly) sit up and notice.
Nobody here is trying to pretend that what Casablancas and Co, were trying to do is original or new.....
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By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 14 2004
Format: Audio CD
Media hype follows the Strokes like a hungry dog. But with its classic-inspired uptown-grit rock, it's undeniable that while they aren't exactly the saviors of rock'n'roll, they are a solid and enjoyable chunk of it. "Is This It" offers the answer to its own drawled question.
A pounding rhythm and several variations of the question "Is this it?" kick off the title track, a swaying rock melody. Following it are a catchy, gritty collection of lo-fi rockers. The uniquely-named Julian Casablancas drones in a delicious monotone through the fast-moving "Barely Legal," the uneasy "Leave Me Alone," the deceptively simple-sounding "Last Night," and the skipping percussion of "Hard to Explain."
Due to the lavish praise heaped on the Strokes, they've become a love-'em-or-hate-'em phenomena. They're obviously influenced by the legendary Velvet Underground, Stooges and Television, but with a twenty-first century twist of New Yorker ennui and art-rock underpinnings.
Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond's complex guitar riffs are the gems of this album -- they drone, they skip, they reverberate, and they sear. Nikolai Fraiture's bass is a good dark edge, and Fabrizo Moretti's drumming sounds like little strikes of lighting -- fast, sharp and out of the blue.
Julian Casablancas has now become the reference point for male singers who sing in a bored monotone, as if too jaded to show emotion in a song. The only time he breaks out of it is in "Barely Legal," where he almost sounds excited at times. "I wanna steal your innocence/To me my life it don't make sense," he says, and sounds like he means it.
The Strokes are far from being the saviors of rock'n'roll. But their punk-tinged New Yawker rock is still some pretty good music, and "Is This It" remains a likable if spotty debut.
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