Is This It (RCA) Straight out of New York City, The Strokes must be the most-hyped band since Oasis. According to British scribes, they are the saviours of rock'n'roll and the best live act in the world today. Tough billing to live up to indeed. And yet they have managed to rise above it and stun critics. Is This It is the most exciting, energetic, tune-laden rock album to hit the shelves for nearly a decade. Yes, they are derivative of The Velvet Underground. Yes, they're another bunch of kids with mop-top haircuts, bad attitudes and leather jackets. But The Strokes are far more than that. They have that special 'something' that marks them out from the herd. Perhaps it is as simple as the wonderfully named Julian Casablancas' songs and voice (Lou Reed crossed with Iggy Pop). But they are tight-knit and there is real chemistry on show. Certainly they deliver the 11 cuts here with real charisma. There are so many top tracks it is impossible to go through them all in detail. However, Is This It, Soma, Barely Legal, Alone Together and Hard To Explain are all potential chart-toppers. And then there's The Modern Age, one of the most perfectly crafted pop songs to emerge in the last 20 years. It shimmers with its gritty vocals, jangly guitars and surging melody. So dust off your best leather jacket, pump up the volume and rejoice. Rock'n'roll is alive and well.