Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

The Strokes

  • The Modern Age [Rough Trade EP, 2000] A-
  • Is This It [RCA, 2001] A-
  • Room on Fire [RCA, 2003] ***
  • First Impressions of Earth [RCA, 2006] ***

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Modern Age [Rough Trade EP, 2000]
Lou Reed's too easy, Television just wrong--this New York five-piece's three-song preview reminds me of the Vibrators. Who were songfully nonstop Britpunks-of-convenience, slightly trad and not too deep, hence the necessity of IDing them. Their 1978 debut is cherished by many. A-

Is This It [RCA, 2001]
Great groove band, end of story--I wish. True grooves extend toward infinity, for one thing; here the beats implode, clashing/resolving with punky brevity and gnarly faux simplicity. Their grooves carry melody, too--and not all of it, not hardly. The Strokes' privileged formalism is annoying, so too their delight in romantic dysfunction. But they're smarter than the playa haters who aren't smart enough to target these blatant shortcomings--and also than, for instance, Firewater, who didn't start a bidding war because they do lots less with the same attitude. A-

Room on Fire [RCA, 2003]
Narcissism repeats itself ("Between Love and Hate," "What Ever Happened"). ***

First Impressions of Earth [RCA, 2006]
You know how it is--the gym does more for your wind than for your jump shot ("You Only Live Once," "Ask Me Anything"). ***