Sound — 9
The Strokes' impressive debut 'Is This It?' was so overly hyped that I had to listen to it a second time to try and find any flaws in it, because I didn't want to like it. After thousands upon thousands of plays, this NY band's debut never cease to amaze me. With the lo-fi production Graham Coxon could only dream of producing, Albert Hammond Jr.'s soulful guitar solos, and Julian Casablacas' 'droned and stoned' vocals, The Strokes fit the mold for a solid garage band. Standout tracks include, well, all of 'em, really, with the exception of the title track, which isn't all that bad actually. I'm not a slow song guy, and that's exactly what 'Is This It' was; a slow rocker. It's perhaps the only song I skip on the album. 'Alone, Together' is a personal favorite, especially the chorus where Julian moans, "Things, they have changed, in such a permanent way'. I also enjoy 'Last Nite', which is somewhat of a throwback to the '60s (But really, what isn't these days). 'Barely Legal' and 'This Modern Age' are also great tracks as well.
Lyrics — 6
Let's put it this way; Julian is not a poet at heart. His is more of a 'cut and paste' theory; to me, none of the songs really made much sense, figuratively. Maybe if I smoked a few, I'd start to understand what he's rambling about, but I've never smoked in my entire life and not planning on, either. I can't say much about the lyrics besides the fact that I didn't find them meaningful. Eh, maybe that'll change. As for his voice, I think it's incredible for this type of music. He's got lots of potential, though. That'll show up soon on First Impressions of Earth.
Overall Impression — 8
The only band I can compare The Strokes to is Nirvana, not musically but more so the way that they act. Julian and Kurt are very similar, although I hope that Julian doesn't end up like poor Kurt. I think that 'Last Nite' and 'Alone, Together' are radio-friendly, catchy tunes that people all over will listen to 30 years from now and think "Wow, there still is hope." And yes, The Strokes did prove that there is hope in the world, that 'crunk' music and 'emo' music won't take over the world. The Strokes have been an influence to many a garage band for the past 7 years, and that is not likely to change. If only Julian would read and write a bit more, his skills would definitely improve. If I lost this CD, I would definitely buy it again and stand beside the CD rack to make sure other people do the same. This is a garage gem not to be missed.