While Reed and VU sonically and lyrically immortalized life-threatening substances like smack and speed, Casablancas and company are instead obsessed with getting in-and-out of the apartments (and beds) of sexy, upscale, 20-something NYC girls. "Is this it?/ I'm just way too tired," a weary yet victorious Casablancas warbles on the album's title track. And with the young Strokes' fashionable good looks and prep-school backgrounds, one figures that Casablancas is more concerned about wasting his precious energy than missing out on an all-too-frequent opportunity to roll between the sheets.
Despite the Strokes' too-cool-for-words appearance and attitude, the rest of Is This It is not at all aloof. On songs like the cleverly affable "Someday," Casablancas and his band show genuine and appreciable warmth: "I'm working so I don't have to try so hard/ Tables they turn sometimes/ Oh some day." For, in a perfect world, all kids would happily grow up listening to old copies of Reed's Transformer and Television's Marquee Moon. But, until that day eventually comes around, we fortunately have the Strokes and Is This It.