If the '90s grunge alternative movement reached its flashpoint with Nirvana's Nevermind, then the same could be said about the '00s garage indie movement getting its wings with The Strokes' Is This It. The title is a question, but lacking a question mark, it's undeniably the answer too--yes, this is it: the album that pushed indie toward the mainstream and helped define a major part of the decade's sound. Where would The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, and Arctic Monkeys be if The Strokes had not come before? The album is raw, pop-oriented, and to the point, marked by short, direct songs that never linger on their importance, but simply deliver their melodies and move on. Repetitive but appealingly simple guitar melodies underlie all the songs, from the relatively restrained opener "Is This It" to the more rambunctious, even dance-oriented tracks like "Someday" or "Hard to Explain."
Best: Someday, Is This It, Hard to Explain, Last Night, Soma, The Modern Age, New York City Cops