By Alison Smith, 19, reporting from Brooklyn, NY, on the record that rocked 2001—and still does today
So the first ten years of life in the 2000s come to an end, and the UK music magazine NME has voted the Strokes' Is This It the Album of the Decade. Eight years after its release pulled the music world out of a Nu-Metal funk, the 11-song album still holds some serious influence. The distortedly restrained vocals, chugging bass, and layered guitars—drawing upon music of decades past, Blondie to Nirvana to the Velvet Underground—have also no doubt opened innumerable doors for the Kings of Leons and Arctic Monkeys of today.
I was just eleven when the album came out in 2001 and paid little attention to the band who were quickly becoming the musical heroes of New York. But finally, for my fourteenth birthday, my friend gave me Is This It as well as 2003's Room On Fire. And that night in my bedroom, indifference gave way to obsession. I couldn't agree more with NME's number-one pick, or their description of the band's first full-length release as containing "a sense of life, vitality and spontaneity that [seemed] gone from rock n' roll forever."
If you weren't into the Strokes at the time—or even if you were—then the window between now and 2010 is your chance. Is This It should be a staple of any modern rock fan's collection. Rediscover it and check out NME's other 99 Albums of the Decade.