Is This It is that good -- it's too good, really; too well put together, too full of the kind of energetic, edgy pop invented by the Velvet Underground, refined by the Pixies, then imitated by thousands of indie rock bands with small names and small followings, like Spoon. The genius (and horror) of the Strokes is that they are to oft-deplored boy bands what Starbucks is to McDonald's -- a franchise that marries customer-friendly populism with just the right bit of elitism to make up for the fact that billions and billions are served. Like those boy bands, they've got the looks and compelling takes on boy-girl games. But rather than declassé, canned tracks that ask, "Girl, why didn't you page me?", they give a liner-note shout-out to Guided by Voices and write energetic pop that's a perfect accessory to the other lifestyle-enhancing products that find their way into the apartments of most white, city-dwelling twentysomethings. No doubt, they're going to be grand.
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