Stroked: A Tribute to Is This It
I’m 22 years old( rockin’ one year of legal alcoholism), but after seeing this 10-year anniversary tribute release for Is This It, I feel like there is not much seperating the grey-haired geezer who goes into cardiac arrest after Steely Dan’s 89th reissue of their greatest hits and myself. SO on a raw and basic level, I FEEL OLD! Its been a DECADE since the Strokes broke open the ‘THE’ band craze (remember the Hives, Vines, and Von Bondies) and made the NYC music scene relevant again. More importantly its been ten years since the Strokes released their most popular and defining album that set a bar that they never could reach again after three hit-or-miss albums and a deterioration in the band member’s relationships.
Stereogum had the ‘brilliant’ idea of bringing together some well-known and other lesser-known indie artists to give some extremely liberal takes on Is This It. The album as a whole is disappointing, many of the tracks have little or no resemblance to the originals and are flimsy and insubstantial as songs themselves. Austra’s ‘Alone, Together’ and Chelsea Wolfe’s ‘Modern Age’ are epic fails, while Computer Magic’s ‘Take It Or Leave It’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfJZKjCUfwQ&feature=related) and Deradoorian’s ‘Trying Your Luck’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiP_w7i9QRA&feature=related) are at least respectable attempts at recreating the original magic. While the idea of an indie tribute album for Is This It sounds idyllic on paper, it fails to rouse any of the jovial rambunctiousness that emanated from the 2001 album, and like the latest Stroke’s album Angles, it flounders in the comparitive shadow of what the Stroke’s once were, and not what they’ve become. (Depressing end to a review…. but as Thoreau says “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.“