Review #114: Is This It, The Strokes

Karla Clifton
2 min readJun 22, 2021

#114: Is This It, The Strokes

As I work my way down this list, every so often, I get to listen to an album that I had burned to a CD in high school. (I was told this makes me sound “ancient.”) This is one of them!

The lead singer for the Strokes is Julian Casablancas, who is as fascinating a figure as any. Julian Casablancas’ father was John Casablancas, a fashion exec who founded Elite Model Management. My favorite musician Courtney Love wrote an insane song about him called “But Julian, I’m A Little Older Than You.”

This album actually had an alternate cover for international release: it’s a gloved hand on a bare ass. To be honest, I prefer the cool trippy US cover. It’s apparently a subatomic particle in a bubble chamber. Wild!

Another not-so-fun fact about this album is that the US release was delayed because of September 11. They had a song called “New York City Cops” that was, um, less-than-complimentary to NYC cops. But they wisely decided to remove it and replace it with “When It Started,” which is also a good song.


“Is This It” — This song should be on this album at least three times.

“The Modern Age” — I know all the words to every song from this album I loved in 9th grade, but I lose my keys every single day. Isn’t the human brain a joke?

“Soma” — Wow, apparently this is a Brave New World reference. I didn’t know the Strokes could read!

“Someday” — A lot of these songs sound exactly the same, but that doesn’t take away their staying power.

“Last Nite” — Did you know this song has the same intro as Tom Petty’s “American Girl”?

“Hard To Explain” — I love the words to this one: Cuz I am too young and they are too old.

“When It Started” — I like this song, but I can’t lie: I like “New York City Cops” more.

“Take It Or Leave It” — Julian Casablancas has the “phone booth” effect on his voice for this whole album. I love it so much.


“Barely Legal” — John Casablancas (Julian’s dad) had an affair with a 16-year-old, which is a bad look for a 40-year-old man.

“Alone, Together” — Look, I love all these songs, but this one is definitely the easiest one to forget.


Not this time. I played this CD so much that it’s all scratched up, but that doesn’t stop me from listening to it all the way through anyway.

Review #113: The Queen Is Dead, The Smiths

Review #115: good kid, m.A.A.d city, Kendrick Lamar