Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 26
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 26
  3. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. 100
    Simply put, Strokes have every quality rock'n'roll requires from its finest exponents and Is This It is where they come together.
  2. It makes the case for some long-forgotten virtues: fast songs, staccato chords, songs about trysts in squalid apartments. You know, the good stuff.
  3. 100
    What matters, what it all boils down to, is The Strokes write incredibly powerful songs, and those who allow the media -- or better yet their reaction to the media, what I call the anti media -- to influence their opinions are missing out.
  4. The Strokes' privileged formalism is annoying, so too their delight in romantic dysfunction. But they're smarter than the playa haters who aren't smart enough to target these blatant shortcomings.
  5. ''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.
  6. The Strokes are not deities. Nor are they "brilliant," "awe-inspiring," or "genius." They're a rock band, plain and simple. And if you go into this record expecting nothing more than that, you'll probably be pretty pleased.
  7. 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...
  8. Plenty of bands have hooks and good songs and retro-garage sounds, but none compares to The Strokes.
  9. Alternative Press
    90
    Delivers the goods in spades. [Nov 2001, p.94]
  10. Guitar rock that knows the grit of downtown, understands the seductiveness of a timeless pop song, and recognizes that a great solo can be accomplished in 20 seconds, Is This It may not quite justify its ascent to instant-classic status.
  11. Not since Oasis in their gloriously unstoppable and unapologetic heyday have we been given the opportunity to embrace such straight-ahead, ebullient, desire-fuelled guitar music.
  12. This album is jaunty, scruffy, carefree and accomplished.
  13. No chips or cracks in this debut's silly-grin inducing veneer, just one short, sharp jolt of postmodern skank.
  14. Hype for the Strokes is well deserved--it's hard to imagine a more vital American rock band.
  15. Comparisons aside, though, the Strokes do cultivate a sound that's enough theirs to make me wonder what their second and third albums will sound like.
  16. It's a welcome change to the current hard-rock juggernaut.
  17. If you like one Strokes song, you'll like their whole album.
  18. Blender
    80
    The biggest draw is the Iggy-Jagger sexual charisma of 22-year-old singer Julian Casablancas, whose self-possessed cool is astonishing. [Aug/Sep 2001, p.130]
  19. For now, the Strokes have mastered their style; they have yet to come up with the substance to match it.... But the music leaves no doubts - more joyful and intense than anything else I've heard this year.
  20. Casablancas is all old-school rocker in the Mick Jagger/Chris Robinson mold -- an ugly/pretty boy out to beg, borrow and bleed for even prettier women while acting like nothing ever satisfies.
  21. Mojo
    80
    A heartily uplifting brew of scruffy street style, swear words and stammering pop tunes which sweat musical history. [Sep 2001, p.99]
  22. The album is certainly one of 2001's finest, most memorable releases. It just shouldn't be billed beyond what it is: a deliciously fun romp that draws heavily upon influences like the Velvet Underground, Television, and the Stooges.
  23. 70
    Their album is little more than thirty minutes and eleven versions of the same song. But damn if that one song isn't a good one.
  24. They've locked themselves in a room for a year, learned to play 11 songs in one style, and counted on the singer to come up with a couple of ace-card tunes. Result.
  25. The only thing keeping Is This It from being absolutely storming is the questionable production work of Gordon Raphael, whose primordial approach lacks the necessary punch to really bring these tunes to life.
  26. A dandy little 36-minute album of simple pop tunes with all the right moves and no real motion.
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 517 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 22 out of 517
  1. Mar 3, 2011
    10
    "is this it?" is fantastic. truly a landmark album of our generation. its so nonchalant but somehow through the apathy true brilliance is"is this it?" is fantastic. truly a landmark album of our generation. its so nonchalant but somehow through the apathy true brilliance is found. yes each song has a similar sound, but they are not the same. additionally, why would you change up the sound when it is good to begin with Full Review »
  2. zacht.
    Dec 24, 2008
    5
    A pretty bland album, nothing special or unique at all. It's not horrible album by any means but the scores it recieved do not represent A pretty bland album, nothing special or unique at all. It's not horrible album by any means but the scores it recieved do not represent what it really is. Beware if you are going to buy. Full Review »
  3. David
    Jun 11, 2006
    3
    Thank Bob this terrible trend is over. Rock revival? Whatever.