Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Strokes: 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-