December 2002
French articles
junior reporters
arts and expressions
about SNN
magazine archives


A Stroke of Brilliance
By Colin D., Fredericton High School, Fredericton, NB

Is This It?
By The Strokes
RCA Records (2001)

A new type of Rock n' roll for a new generation of fun loving rockers, is exactly what The Strokes bring to music. The Strokes combine the roots of rock n' roll with a fresh new distorted sound that is getting the attention of music lovers all over the world.

The Strokes have accomplished many things for the short time they have been together. The Strokes began in 1998 when 5 close friends decided to form a rock n' roll band in the heart of New York City. These 5 friends are Julian Casablancas on vocals, Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond Jr. on guitar, Nikolai Fraiture on bass and Fab Moretti on the drums. The Strokes made numerous appearances at New York City clubs until they were recognized by a club manger who would later on become the band's manager.

The band's first break came in January 2001 when they released a 3-track demo called the Modern Age. This demo was very successful in New York City and in England particularly. This led to a series of shows in England and back in New York.

Then on September 25th 2001, Is this It? was released in North America and in Europe. The first single on Is This It?, "Last Nite" went to #1 on the charts in the U.K. and made it to the top ten in North America. The CD was critically acclaimed by listeners and critics alike for its originality and sound.

It was described as an amped up form of rock n' roll. The unusual guitar sounds and distorted vocals of Julian Casablancas give the Strokes a very unique and catchy sound.

The CD itself was almost revolutionary. It is a sound that had never been heard before. Every song on the CD follows the same sound as the previous track but has something unique to it. The only criticism of the recording is that many of the songs to many people would sound very similar.

Because of the distorted effect, the voice and guitar parts are similar on almost every song. The most popular and well known track of Is This It? is a track titled "Last Nite." Last Nite has had a lot of radio play and has an accompanying video, which has had play on M.T.V and Muchmusic. It is a fairly simple song but has just the right blend of guitars and vocals. It starts off with a cool guitar part leading into the chorus "Last nite she said oh baby don't feel so down and turn me off when I feel left out so I., I turn around, oh baby gonna be alright, it was a great big lie and I left that night" this chorus and the song are accompanied by the steady beat of the guitar and the drums. It is a very catchy and innovative song.

The Strokes are a band of a new generation. They combine excellent musical talents, smart lyrics and new distorted vocals to form a great musical sound. This new sound has spawned numerous British bands trying to capture the Stroke sound. The Hives, The Vines and The White Stripes have all accumulated considerable success with the new age rock sound. The Strokes have universal appeal. Their music although aimed at a younger audience, has become popular with all ages. When a Strokes song is heard you can't help but tap your feet and nod your head. Not many bands in today's music world have that effect on listeners of all ages.

Is This It? is definitely a good investment to the music fan who just wants to sit back and enjoy some good rock n' roll.

The Strokes official website


Back to Front Page