My mother always told me, "If you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all." I love me mum. I want to make her proud. I want to be a good person in her eyes. As such, I hesitate in writing this review.
I have spent months trying to think of "something nice" to say about this record. I have racked my brain looking for some response other than vitriol, but nothing ever seems to come. I listen to the thing over and over again, and try to find something kind to say about it. After all, one assumes The Strokes are made up of real people, with real feelings, who might be hurt by unkind words, right? I mean, they're not pretend people, like those guys from Radiohead. Right? I just don't want to go making people cry and stuff.
So last night it hit me, all at once, something nice to say about this album. Here I go:
The Strokes' Is This It is the most honestly and ontologically appropriately titled record I've ever listened to.
That's pretty nice, isn't it?
Seriously, you've spent half a freaking year hearing about how this album, this band, they're just it; they're just the shit, the real thing, the absolute second fucking coming. They're trotted out as some sort of modern day Rolling Stones here to put the fear back into the hearts of parents everywhere. They're hyped as the greatest indie rock band alive. They make Silvergeek's best of 2001 list, and a lot of other people's as well.
So hey, you, you're liking the rock pretty well, and you figure "What the frizzledeebang, take the chance…"
And then you listen to the album, and you think, "Is this it?"
For surely, this can't be it, can it? This can't be what's gotten everyone up in quills about. Can it? Surely, this can't be it. Amateurish guitar wanderings, poorly designed and even more poorly implemented rhythm structures, and a guy who doesn't so much as sing his shockingly banal attempts at lyrics as mope through them with a pout face, fake leather pants and the unbridled assumption that the rest of the world should care because his girlfriend tells him he's talented?
And to top it all off, they're not even indie?
Surely, you jest. Surely, this can't be it.
But I'm not saying anything nice anymore, and Mom might drop by to read this. "The title, it's perfect! Brilliant job that, boys!"
Two sponges. And I am being generous for the sake of Mom. Someone bring Silvergeek to me so I can beat him.