Is This It

The Strokes - Is This It
Critic Score
Based on 11 reviews
2001 Ratings: #4 / 177
User Score
2001 Ratings: #5
Liked by 10 people
August 27, 2001 / Release Date
LP / Format
Rough Trade, RCA / Label
Indie Rock / Genres
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Able to make the timeworn themes of sex, drugs, and rock & roll and the basic guitars-drum-bass lineup seem new and vital again, the Strokes may or may not be completely arty and calculated, but that doesn't prevent Is This It from being an exciting, compulsively listenable debut.


There's nothing unnecessary here. 'Is This It' is an album by a band that knows its strengths, knows its collective mind. It doesn't sound like one songwriter and some other donkeys.


Accusations of style over substance were heard from some quarters, but really – would we be talking about this album 13 years later if it didn’t comprise a collection of completely cracking songs?


The Strokes have struck an incredible balance between the two extremes of rock music: sentimentality and listlessness.

Entertainment Weekly

”Is This It” bows down before all the trademarks of pre-1977 rock: off-kilter guitar solos, half-buried vocals (à la ”Louie, Louie”), attitude-heavy slurring (by singer Julian Casablancas), primitive tom-tom rhythms (shades of the Velvets’ Moe Tucker), and the raw, muddy sonics of garage-band 45s.

Drowned in Sound

This is an outstanding release filled with trashy pop songs about love, hate, lust and the misunderstandings about growing up. With one song it can piss off your mum and at with the next have her singing along.


They may not really be the second coming of the Velvet Underground, but Is This It is exactly what a rock ‘n’ roll album should sound like, equally calling on its influences and pushing forward in brash discontentedness.


Is This It? is a decadent album, and it finds the band kicking ass first and taking names later, and Julian Casablancas' persona is that of the ringleader of the 4 quiet men behind him.

Rolling Stone

The Strokes' debut album is pure New York rock & roll: all gray-pavement aggression wrapped in black-leather cool.

The Guardian

Is This It is a great debut album, derivative yet posessed of an urgency and excitement of its own devising.

Under The Radar

The Strokes aren’t bad, it’s just hard to see what all the fuss is about. They’ve got some decent licks and are probably a good live act. On CD, however, they’re not all that distinguishable.

a fantastic record, that isn't up for debate. I just never find myself coming back in favor of the new Voidz album which I enjoy better for its textures
There's something about The Strokes' debut that feels undeniably classic. It's hard to put my finger on exactly what it is, but even after being ripped off for over a decade, Is This It basically sounds as fresh as ever. Is This It is one of those rare albums that isn't necessarily defined by innovation or depth, instead charming millions by being simple and unpretentious, sharp but never cynical. Like Weezer's Blue Album before it, what makes Is This It is so appealing is that anyone could ... read more
lots of replay value
This album should absolutely be considered a modern classic and deserves all the praise it receives. Every single song is just so incredibly catchy, fun, and clever. The strokes definitely weren't the first "post-punk revival" band, but they definitely the ones that gave it a good rep.
Best Songs: I don't think I can narrow it down. Listen to the whole thing please
This album is one of the album that kinda made me i remember listening to this in middle school and loving it kinda became my favorite album.

The album itself is great it's one of the most influential indie rock albums and it just b u m p s all the way through with some real emotional highs like last night and hard to explain and it's a very consistent album with it only being 35 minutes long and out adds replay value which is a great value that albums should have tbh
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Year End Lists


Track List

  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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