The Strokes: Is This It poll

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Only six months to go before the end of this decade and we still haven't done this poll? It's thought to be one of the best rock albums from the 2000's, so what is the best song?

*The track "New York City Cops" was pulled from the North American edition of Is This It following the September 11 attacks and was replaced by "When It Started". This was because the band and their management thought the song might be considered insensitive, particularly the main chorus line "New York City Cops, they ain't too smart", which is repeated throughout. The band still plays "New York City Cops" live and the song is available on the international edition of the album, along with its original cover art. The US release of the album still says "New York City Cops" on the track listing on the back of the album, instead of "When It Started."

Poll Results

OptionVotes
8. Hard to Explain 31
5. Someday 27
7. Last Nite 13
2. The Modern Age 13
11. Take It or Leave It 5
10. Trying Your Luck 5
9. New York City Cops 5
4. Barely Legal 4
3. Soma 3
1. Is This It 2
6. Alone, Together 1
When It Started* 1


Bee OK, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 00:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

gotta be HTE

c.c. crabcock (electricsound), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 00:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

haven't listened to this in forever but i remember really liking "alone together"

Visually-striking Cerebral Movies from the 1960s (get bent), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 00:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

to me room on fire was the superior album.

Visually-striking Cerebral Movies from the 1960s (get bent), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 00:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

It's thought to be one of the best rock albums from the 2000's

People be RONG

Room on Fire is only slightly better, and I haven't even bothered with the third one since about the week it came out in 2006.

The only thing that justifies Casablancas' musical imprint in the decade is the "My Drive Thru" song with Pharrell and Santi.

That said, I'll go with "Last Nite" because it reminds me to listen to Tom Petty.

Johnny Fever, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 00:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

Take It or Leave It

PappaWheelie V, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 00:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

Anyone know where to find online "The Different Strokes" [This isn't it]?
I heard it playing on NPR of all places.

Philip Nunez, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 00:31 (nine years ago) Permalink

I had it a long time ago, but didn't bother saving it when I got a new computer. I still have "The Diff'rent Darkness" tho!

Johnny Fever, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 00:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

listening to room on fire now... it really holds up! gonna listen to is this it? later and see if it still has legs.

Visually-striking Cerebral Movies from the 1960s (get bent), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 00:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Someday."

My name is Kenny! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 00:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

^^yeah

bentley cadence (gbx), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 00:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

i am
stop
and go
in
your
eyes
.
.
.
let's go.

Visually-striking Cerebral Movies from the 1960s (get bent), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 01:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

nyc cops

billstevejim, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 01:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

this is literally impossible for me

ruffalo stance (J0rdan S.), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 01:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

i think "barely legal" is my favorite strokes song so i voted that, but "someday" is so amazing

when we was young
oh man, did we have fun

ruffalo stance (J0rdan S.), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 01:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

his voice is a combination of billy idol and doug yule (get bent sez: very good things)

Visually-striking Cerebral Movies from the 1960s (get bent), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 01:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

trying your luck and take it or leave it are severely underrated

ruffalo stance (J0rdan S.), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 01:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

^yes

Visually-striking Cerebral Movies from the 1960s (get bent), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 01:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

^ two worst songs on the album

Mike Crandle, Financial Analyst, Bear Stearns, New York, NY 10185 (res), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 01:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

i've always thought "When It Started" is the real underrated track...one of the more interesting songs to me

that said, it'll be hard for me not to vote for "Last Night"...maybe it'splayed out but besides "Hard To Explain," which I can barely stomach anymore it's the most iconic/anthemic/classic imo and also was always a jam

iamwitty (surfboard dudes get wiped out, totally), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 03:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

The only thing that justifies Casablancas' musical imprint in the decade is the "My Drive Thru" song with Pharrell and Santi.

ILM self parody!

kornrulez6969, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 04:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

Barely Legal

kornrulez6969, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 04:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

Voting for Modern Age even though they forgot to write an ending.

WARS OF ARMAGEDDON (Karaoke Version) (Sparkle Motion), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 05:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

room oon fire is 10x better. well, maybe not 10x... but, still better.
anyways, i voted for "take it or leave it"

Creeztophair, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 05:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

still love this album without reservation

I went with "Take It Or Leave It" simply b/c it deserves more support but I could have easily gone w/ "Someday" or "Last Nite" or probably anything on here if the mood strikes me

passed on the lead in "all i can do is crossups cuz ihave no skills" (jamescobo), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 06:08 (nine years ago) Permalink

this is like top 3 of the decade for me

ruffalo stance (J0rdan S.), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 06:08 (nine years ago) Permalink

soma.

I like the strokes in theory but can't listen to them anymore, partly because they remind me of freshman year of hs and partly because the third album was so bad that I just lost any interest I had left in the band.

iatee, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 06:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

trying ur luck

Monday Nite Tranny Party (The Brainwasher), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 06:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

this is literally impossible for me

― ruffalo stance (J0rdan S.), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 02:54 (5 hours ago) Bookmark

^^^this.

Samuel (a hoy hoy), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 07:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

'the modern age' for the guitar solo

vain_bowers, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 07:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

I like the strokes in theory but can't listen to them anymore, partly because they remind me of freshman year of hs

^this is pretty much why i still love them

ruffalo stance (J0rdan S.), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 07:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

julians writing is amazing on this album - even on room on fire he kind of started dabbling in incomprehensible pseudo social commentary (whatever happened? and the end has no end being prime examples - both songs are still amazing but the lyrics are kind of out there and bad) and on first impressions he's just totes awful at lyrics

ruffalo stance (J0rdan S.), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 07:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

voted 'hard to explain' cos of the xtina mashup, but ROOM ON FIRE is def the superior alb - i like the transition from youthful vim and vigour on the first rec to the worldweary disillusionment of the second

Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 08:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

this is literally impossible for me

― ruffalo stance (J0rdan S.), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 02:54 (5 hours ago) Bookmark

^^^this.

― Samuel (a hoy hoy), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 07:34 (46 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

My Slow Descent into Assholism (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 08:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

Just listened to this and have been able to work out "songs I love but not as much as the others" that I won't be voting for:

Is This It?
The Modern Age
Soma
Barely Legal
Someday
Alone, Together
Last Nite
Hard To Explain
New York City Cops
Trying Your Luck
Take It Or Leave It

So hard.

Samuel (a hoy hoy), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 08:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'll have a 'Trying Your Luck', please.

Ismael Klata, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 10:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

It's thought to be one of the best rock albums from the 2000's

rip rock music

FREE DOM AND ETHAN (special guest stars mark bronson), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 10:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

Doesn't "Barely Legal" sound rather similar to "Cherry Chapstick" by Yo La Tengo?

Mike Crandle, Financial Analyst, Bear Stearns, New York, NY 10185 (res), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 16:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

Hard to Explain, BTW

Mike Crandle, Financial Analyst, Bear Stearns, New York, NY 10185 (res), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 16:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

The Strokes: Is This It Shit poll

Ah... that's more like it.

Not voting as, for my ears' sake, I dare not attempt to remember any of these songs.

I just wish he hadn't adopted the "ilxor" moniker (ilxor), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 17:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

In retrospect, the crossover success of the Strokes and their sort of bland rock music pretty much set the stage for Kings of Leon's similar success in recent years. Massive dud, this band.

I just wish he hadn't adopted the "ilxor" moniker (ilxor), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 17:06 (nine years ago) Permalink

I mean, "Sex on Fire" is totally a Strokes song in disguise.

I just wish he hadn't adopted the "ilxor" moniker (ilxor), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 17:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

Without the hooks, muffled vocals, and awesomeness.

My name is Kenny! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 17:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

this is literally impossible for me

It is impossible for me as well, as I believe I've only ever heard "Last Nite", and that maybe only twice.

EZ Snappin, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 17:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

Funny, I was just about to say "Sex on Fire" is a Strokes song + a good hook.

The Strokes are possibly the most one-dimensional band of the decade, with each song being a slight variation on the song that came directly before it. Plus shitty sounding drums and a singer who sings every song like a dirge regardless of its tempo.

Johnny Fever, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 17:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

They are this generation's "The Knack"?

Philip Nunez, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 17:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

the tunes on this album are good though. i once towed the standard contrarian line about how this was soulless hype, but it convinced me otherwise-- unlike forgettable "critic's choice" bullshit like, oh, let's say Burial, Shearwater, MIA, Dizzee Rascal, Fleet Foxes... oh god-- I could go on all day.

Mike Crandle, Financial Analyst, Bear Stearns, New York, NY 10185 (res), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 17:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

"last nite," but four or five songs are v v close (someday, is this it, modern age, NYC cops)

i wanna see these voting results disaggregated by voter-nationality. british people just cannot shut up about "hard to explain," which i think is relatively boring.

69, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 17:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

The Strokes are possibly the most one-dimensional band of the decade, with each song being a slight variation on the song that came directly before it. Plus shitty sounding drums and a singer who sings every song like a dirge regardless of its tempo.

Which is why they've made only three albums.

My name is Kenny! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 8 July 2009 17:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

Also, I find Casablancas' voice very inexpressive, and even when he emotes it sounds curiously empty - the production doesn't help matters either.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Saturday, 22 July 2017 01:02 (one year ago) Permalink

it's only overrated in that it's not 10/10 best album of the decade etc., still pretty great

i do think if the production felt a bit fuller it'd be better but when they tried modern rock production on FIOE it was definitely not an improvement

ufo, Saturday, 22 July 2017 01:58 (one year ago) Permalink

You do you, Turrican. But I'll laugh when you've also started threads on every early aughts also-ran. I mean, it's hard to argue that The Strokes isn't 'style over substance', since every time someone praises them, it's always the style that we end up talking about. It's a great style. But if the substantive alternative is supposed to be White Stripes and Maximo Park, then... I'm fine with some great style.

Frederik B, Saturday, 22 July 2017 12:33 (one year ago) Permalink

I'll laugh when you've also started threads on every early aughts also-ran.

Then I guess you'll be laughing on the other side of your face when the penny drops and you'll find I actually haven't. Might take a couple of years.

Yes, Elephant and A Certain Trigger are superior records to Is This It?, and in fact to describe The White Stripes as "also-rans" demonstrates that you really don't know what you're talking about. Business as usual, then.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Saturday, 22 July 2017 12:47 (one year ago) Permalink

Well, it certainly feels as if you have a thread for every also-ran, but if you haven't talked about The Rakes yet, then I profoundly apologize.

Frederik B, Saturday, 22 July 2017 13:07 (one year ago) Permalink

None of the '00s indie bands discussed over the last couple of days were also-rans, come to think of it.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Saturday, 22 July 2017 13:14 (one year ago) Permalink

I think people were pissed off because the music press had worked themselves up in such a lather to call it a classic that when they finally heard it they asked themselves, well, "Is This It?" ... It'd be so easy to attack these guys for being a bunch of poshos slumming it, but that's far down the bottom of the list.

this. all the snark and hostility upthread could have only come from people engrossed in the music press, reacting against hype. the songs themselves are very catchy and seem hard to dislike. room on fire is still better though.

fred's whiney impression itt gets a C-.

Treeship, Saturday, 22 July 2017 14:03 (one year ago) Permalink

Also, I find Casablancas' voice very inexpressive,

this was intentional, i thought? their schtick is ennui, longing, rock n roll attempted underneath the weight of history

Treeship, Saturday, 22 July 2017 14:05 (one year ago) Permalink

lizzie goodman's recent book meet me in the bathroom about the lead up to and 'fallout' of this album is super entertaining in its just kill me straight dope interviews and also deeply depressing when considering how conservative and limited the musical scope of this scene was. so many people involved in the rise of this album, in goodman's book, at least, are either bullshitting or really believe 'there was nothing good happening in music at all when the strokes came along' i feel sad when i look at my built to spill and yo la tengo etc records

reggie (qualmsley), Saturday, 22 July 2017 14:11 (one year ago) Permalink

I hate that kind of "X was Year Zero" shit - it's stupid. The whole idea that one can just write off hundreds upon thousands of years of musical history by pressing some kind of reset button is just totally fucking dumb.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Saturday, 22 July 2017 14:44 (one year ago) Permalink

xp in goodman's book, they were specifically talking about the New York rock scene, which certainly had hit a lull before the strokes and friends arrived. but yeah a few times I wanted to retroactively buy them a PATH ticket so they could see YLT at maxwell's

Many men scream death (voodoo chili), Saturday, 22 July 2017 15:36 (one year ago) Permalink

I like Is This It but it's not a transcendent masterpiece like Turn on the Bright Lights or Antics.

flappy bird, Saturday, 22 July 2017 15:59 (one year ago) Permalink

I don't think either of those records are much cop either, tbf.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Saturday, 22 July 2017 16:08 (one year ago) Permalink

is this it has some pretty nice guided by voices guitar, ric o producing pollard/gillard backing lou reed moments, especially "hard to explain". julian is also a way more convincing lyricist, at least early on, than fellow rich kid banks

reggie (qualmsley), Saturday, 22 July 2017 16:53 (one year ago) Permalink

I've been giving The White Stripes a concentrated listen that I've never really given them before - I actually saw them live at Roskilde 2002 when I was fifteen, one of the first rock shows I saw, and it was so bad I've never bothered with them since - and it struck me how the Stripes and the Strokes are almost opposites in a way. The White Stripes are riffs without rhythm while The Strokes are rhythm without riffs.

Frederik B, Monday, 24 July 2017 11:35 (one year ago) Permalink

err I guess that would be another illustration of the ILM debate "what is a riff ?" but the strokes have plenty of riffs imo !

AlXTC from Paris, Monday, 24 July 2017 11:43 (one year ago) Permalink

Well, sorta, in the same way that Television has riffs, but listening to a song like Someday it's striking that it's really just rhythmic cells stopping and starting. Of course it depends on how you defines riffs, but there's nothing like with Seven Nations Army which is constantly being driven along by this big fat guitar figure (though in a way Strokes has way more riffs than White Stripes, because they have at least five small ones per song)

Frederik B, Monday, 24 July 2017 11:48 (one year ago) Permalink

Well, I don't know, just counting the first 2 albums, all these are various kinds of big riffs (for me) :
barely legal
alone together
hard to explain
nyc cops
raptilia
12:51
meet me in the bathroom
I can't win
...

AlXTC from Paris, Monday, 24 July 2017 12:45 (one year ago) Permalink

(argh I did it, I got in the "what is a riff" debate !)

AlXTC from Paris, Monday, 24 July 2017 12:47 (one year ago) Permalink

Let's do Barely Legal :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64-JxFMsbr0

What part of it would you call a big riff?

Frederik B, Monday, 24 July 2017 13:02 (one year ago) Permalink

I kinda like this discussion, could be fun if we keep it cordial.

Frederik B, Monday, 24 July 2017 13:02 (one year ago) Permalink

oh of course, don't worry, I don't get upset for that kind of things !
again, it obviously depends on what one considers a riff is.
for me, it's usually (but not set in stone) the musical phrase played by whatever instrument that is recurrent along a song and kinda defines it when you think of said song.
In your example, it would be the opening lick by the lead guitar.
to take your other example, seven nation army is obviously a perfect example of another kind of riff (the kind that most people consider IS a riff).

AlXTC from Paris, Monday, 24 July 2017 13:10 (one year ago) Permalink

and for instance in NYC cops, the opening lead guitar also plays a big riff.

AlXTC from Paris, Monday, 24 July 2017 13:14 (one year ago) Permalink

Well, nitpicking, but the opening lick never recurs, does it?
I mean, I can't really disagree with you, it's definitely riffs as in it's - quite memorable - figures, and a lot of them define the song. But on the other hand, they're just small two tone figures, so simple, so mechanical, and really much more distinctive for the way they change the rhythm - the way the bass and rhythm guitar begins being syncopated right before the chorus.

Frederik B, Monday, 24 July 2017 13:30 (one year ago) Permalink

ahah, right after writing about "barely legal" I though the exact same thing : I haven't listened to it in a while so yeah, maybe it doesn't come back... which makes it even stronger than I thought it was !
so yeah, you might not count it as a riff then (that said, that reminds me of an interview with Bernard Butler about "animal nitrate" where he said that its opening riff was very important especially because it's only played once during the song).
as for the other riffs, yeah, I totally get what you mean. of course, riffs like "seven nation army" are more obviously "riffs".
but back to "barely legal" and its 4 notes riff, there's not really a difference in nature if you compare to classic riffs like "satisfaction".
and the riff for "hard to explain" is also not essentially different from "sweet child of mine".
(not comparing quality here obviously)

AlXTC from Paris, Monday, 24 July 2017 13:41 (one year ago) Permalink

"soma" has a great riff

reggie (qualmsley), Monday, 24 July 2017 13:58 (one year ago) Permalink

For me, the difference is that the riff in Satisfaction lives by it's singularity, the way it sounds like an alarm, the little human ways it's played differently through out the song. It communicates as a figure. The riffs in Barely Legal doesn't communicate on their own, but in their interplay. I would never say the opening figure defines the song, I remember the switch between verse and chorus, mainly.

But we are mostly just having different ideas of what riffs are.

Frederik B, Monday, 24 July 2017 14:06 (one year ago) Permalink

I mean, clearly there are rhythms in a White Stripes song as well, but making totally accurate descriptions wouldn't sound so good.

Frederik B, Monday, 24 July 2017 14:08 (one year ago) Permalink

Soma is one of their songs where I really don't get what is rhythm guitar and what is lead guitar

Frederik B, Monday, 24 July 2017 14:10 (one year ago) Permalink

Is "Sweet child o'mine"'s lead guitar line a riff for you ?

AlXTC from Paris, Monday, 24 July 2017 14:36 (one year ago) Permalink

i love that Hard To Explain gets away with only a single chord in the chorus

ufo, Monday, 24 July 2017 14:43 (one year ago) Permalink

uh ? nah there are like 3 chords in there iirc.

AlXTC from Paris, Monday, 24 July 2017 14:50 (one year ago) Permalink

But the rhythm guitar plays one chord only. Good trick. They do the same in Barely Legal opening riff, that stays the same though chords change around it.

Yeah, I'd say Sweet Child of Mine is a riff, and a kinda Strokes'y one at that, no? 12:51 especially sounds a lot like it. But it has that precise inhuman nature as well.

Frederik B, Monday, 24 July 2017 15:00 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah it's only the bass that changes and it's relatively low in the mix,

there are a lot of strokes riffs/parts that sound very like sweet child o mine, but always in a much tenser context

ufo, Monday, 24 July 2017 15:05 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah, they did that trick a lot. it's a good one to create some harmonic tension (and it was fun watching Albert Hammond Jr strumming his guitar like a maniac on these parts).

AlXTC from Paris, Monday, 24 July 2017 15:06 (one year ago) Permalink

The whole thing is really just a G-chord, though, you're right it's true, with Julian traveling from D to H to G.

Frederik B, Monday, 24 July 2017 15:27 (one year ago) Permalink

love them H chords

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Monday, 24 July 2017 15:30 (one year ago) Permalink

Oh, right, it's different in England and US. B, not H.

Frederik B, Monday, 24 July 2017 15:33 (one year ago) Permalink

I've been laughing my tits off at the idea of a riff without any rhythm in it for the last half an hour... I assume Frederik drinks water without the h2o in it, too...

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Monday, 24 July 2017 16:04 (one year ago) Permalink

Well, I'd wish you'd laugh a while longer, but it was nice to have a cordial enriching discussion while you weren't here.

Frederik B, Monday, 24 July 2017 16:16 (one year ago) Permalink

It was fun learning Last Night with my band and realizing that I just play one chord during the intro and chorus. The parts of that song sound very weird individually

xp

Vinnie, Tuesday, 25 July 2017 01:41 (one year ago) Permalink

omg the riff debate is back!! yesssss

flappy bird, Tuesday, 25 July 2017 02:55 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah the "one chord" thing is everywhere on their first lp (I don't remember for the following ones).
like on "hard to explain" alone they use it during the pre-chorus AND the chorus !

AlXTC from Paris, Tuesday, 25 July 2017 08:19 (one year ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...

someday

k3vin k., Sunday, 8 July 2018 06:05 (four months ago) Permalink

used to hate Last Nite when it was ubiquitous, now I love it and would probably be my vote

flappy bird, Sunday, 8 July 2018 06:20 (four months ago) Permalink

if only for the chorus

flappy bird, Sunday, 8 July 2018 06:20 (four months ago) Permalink

it's a fucking incredible song

honestly embarrassed to say I finally heard the album for the first time a couple of weeks ago. its good

k3vin k., Sunday, 8 July 2018 06:23 (four months ago) Permalink

+1 love this record

rap is dad (it's a boy!), Monday, 9 July 2018 02:11 (four months ago) Permalink

room on fire is good too. would have taken 10 more records in this same vein

rap is dad (it's a boy!), Monday, 9 July 2018 02:12 (four months ago) Permalink

first track got robbed. that sick bass line.

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Monday, 9 July 2018 23:16 (four months ago) Permalink


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