Music Reviews

The Strokes

Is This It

RCA

In spite of all the hype, the answer to this question is yes. This is it. The Strokes have delivered one of the best albums of the year, a swaggering, searing album of rock that owes as much to The Velvet Underground as they do to the New York punk scene of the late seventies. And above all else, this is a New York album. The essence of the city flows and courses in the veins of this band and lingers on each note that cascades out of the speakers. Hope and earnestness coupled with disgust and despair are forever present in the back of these songs. And isn’t that what being young is all about? Is it a sense of the pure potentiality of youth and the risk that we might waste it?

Listening to this album, it reminds me of just how much fun music can be and how devoid popular entertainment has been of bands that can capture the sheer passion of youth. The raw exuberance and exhilaration that is created by the interaction of the slashing guitars of Al Hammond and Nick Valensi and rhythm section that remains in focus. Yet lead singer Julian Casablancas remains the centerpiece, with a voice that varies between sheer indifference and hope. Composed of several songs previously available on EPs (“The Modern Age,” “Barely Legal,” “Alone Together”), as well as tracks that have been seasoned in live performances, the album offers a handful of new tracks. Between the old and new tracks, The Strokes demonstrate that they possess the stuff needed to stretch beyond the influences readily apparent on their sleeves. In fact, the previously mentioned “The Modern Age” has been a frequently listened to track for several months before the release of this album. It is a dazzling display of Velvets–inspired mayhem that borders on the epic. This is not a risk, if you are willing to be impressed, purchase Is This It and be ready to be impressed.

RCA Records, 1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036-4098; http://www.thestrokes.com


Recently on Ink 19...

Laura Citarella

Laura Citarella

Interviews

Director Laura Citarella, of the famed filmmaking collective El Pampero Cine, has created with her newest feature Trenque Lauquen a provocative transformation of her protagonist Laura (Laura Parades), whom Citarella first introduced in her 2011 film Ostende. Lily and Generoso enjoyed an in-depth conversation with Citarella about Trenque Lauquen when it screened at AFI Fest 2022.

New Music Now 009: Sleepyhead

New Music Now 009: Sleepyhead

Features

Join us for a new edition of New Music Now, with our special musical guest, Sleepyhead. All three members of the band are school teachers, so you didn’t hear it from us, but there might be a pop quiz about their album New Alchemy after the show.

Joana Pimenta

Joana Pimenta

Interviews

Back in 2018, Lily and Generoso selected Adirley Queirós’s Once There Was Brasilia as a top ten film. That feature’s cinematographer, Joana Pimenta, has now co-directed with Queirós one of the most expansive political films we’ve seen this year, Dry Ground Burning. Lily and Generoso interviewed Pimenta at AFI Fest earlier this month.

%d bloggers like this: