Stereogum Pays Tribute To ‘Is This It’ With Covers Of All 11 Tracks

by Eric Van Dril · 94 comments

If you’re a regular reader of this site, then you probably have a pretty high opinion of Is This It (understatement of the century, I know).

Stereogum shares in that sentiment, as the popular music website has put together 11 different artists to cover all 11 of the tracks on Is This It. The bands on the cover album include Peter Bjorn & John (Is This It), The Morning Benders (Last Nite) and Chelsea Wolfe (The Modern Age).

Check out the entire tribute here and download the covers at your own peril. For me, the thought of Peter Bjorn & John making Is This It a Peter Bjorn & John song makes me want to gag.

Update: The Morning Benders’ cover of Last Nite is quality. The Soma cover is pretty good and H2E is really interesting because of what Pallett wrote in the liner notes. But Someday is a digital abortion and NYCC just says “fuck the police” a couple of times and that’s apparently a Strokes cover. OK. Updated

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Joshua July 26, 2011 at 8:45 pm

notttttttttt chillllllllllllllllllllllllll.

2 wolfman July 26, 2011 at 8:56 pm

“is this it” and “take it or leave it” were pretty good, and the “alone, together” chorus is awesome.

3 Jemi July 26, 2011 at 9:54 pm

You can find Computer Magic on Soundcloud. She’s great

4 alanna July 27, 2011 at 1:34 am

i wonder if any of the strokes have heard this?? we all know that julian and albert are giant internet trolls, so i’m guessing they have. i wonder what they think about it. because i’m sure every giant strokes fan still has ITI on heavy repeat and has every guitar solo and drum beat tattooed on their brain (or at least i do), so we are pretty territorial about it. like it’s one of your kids or something. i guess it’s like that for the strokes too, but it’s not like the guys just sit around listening to ITI all day, reminiscing about the good old days and soaking up each other’s awesomeness. i guess what i’m wondering is…would they be as appalled by this as everyone else is? or would they think it’s refreshing after having to perform the same version of the same song thousands of times?

5 Vonnegut July 27, 2011 at 7:14 am

I always thought ROF was better; even now. ITI has better individual tracks, but ROF has the signature Strokes style. The songs blend and make eachother stronger. That’s just me 😛

6 tommy salami pastrami July 27, 2011 at 9:18 am

Contrary to the majority of the people on here, I thoroughly enjoyed this for what it was… It wasn’t a Strokes imitation album, but a tribute. It wouldn’t really amount to anything to find out that one band can play a song off of Is This It better than the other. No, this was merely a service to fans of ITI (b0th the listener and contributing artists) to appreciate the album even more. Loosen up your shoulders and try listening to this again. Don’t listen to it expecting another ITI, but as an appreciative tribute to the Strokes. (Except for the NYCC tribute by Heems… fuck me, that was a bloody insult to the song and any living human being unfortunate enough to listen to it.)

7 Mike823 July 27, 2011 at 11:18 am

I did this “Someday” cover right about when “Undercover of Darkness” came out, mainly because I heard the lyric about singing the same song for ten years, and then discovered on Wikipedia that to the day I am ten years younger than Julian Casablancas. I can’t think of a question that has been as gripping or full of recogntion as Is This It? Unfortunately I think my cover came out too emosweet and pouty for my liking…my old job put me in moods. But I do like how you can hear my dog scratching at her collar in the beginning.

8 Tank July 27, 2011 at 11:21 am
9 Jeff July 27, 2011 at 2:34 pm

That Last Nite Cover is fucking amazing!

10 Iasmiine July 27, 2011 at 3:28 pm

@ Alanna, just sayin’, I love your comment. Don’t know, I don’t think they would be appalled, definitely amused by some of the versions though…

11 Kimdiy July 27, 2011 at 4:45 pm

@Eric, thanks for changing the banner 🙂 Julian’s wayyyy nicer to look at than Nickolai’s super teethy smile.

12 Joe July 27, 2011 at 8:31 pm

was that nonsense actually supposed to be the NYC cops? shit was awful.

13 Iasmiine July 27, 2011 at 11:04 pm

I saw the NYCC guy’s twitter, what an ass. I don’t understand why you would ask a random person to cover the Strokes, he’s got no respect for them whatsoever.

“HEEMS himanshu kumar suri
my inspiration was ‘the fuck these rich kids know about bein fucked w by the cops’…”

“bet yall didn’t know how bad ny cops waas til my strokes remake”

14 Daniel July 28, 2011 at 12:42 am

@Iasmiine He seriously said that? Wow what a fucking fag haha All i learned from his “remake” was how he bad he sucks.

15 curt July 28, 2011 at 5:29 am

Lol not one of these singers is just close to beat Julian… I really don’t hope anybody think so.

16 Josh July 28, 2011 at 6:08 am

i dunno whats going on with the modern age

17 Josh July 28, 2011 at 6:15 am

wtf’s going on with someday aswell

18 heather July 28, 2011 at 6:20 am

@ Iasmiine-I’m willing to bet he got a ton of tweets from fans telling him how bad his cover was. :/

19 Charlotte July 28, 2011 at 8:14 am

I thought that last nite was AWESOME!

20 Sarah July 28, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Can’t comment on the tribute songs, will need several listens to make my opinion.

But concerning the Heems’ tweets on NYCC, I think that besides the provocation (a way as another to make people talk about you…) we can’t reproach him to not have highlighted the controversy of this song: ‘my inspiration was ‘the fuck these rich kids know about bein fucked w by the cops’…Even though I never saw NYCC like a subversive song…

Controversy, because they removed the song after sept. 11th, which I’m sure they did more for the respect of the victims’ family and the feeling a that time in NY, more than because they were afraid of what people were going to say (well I don’t know if that’s how it happened, but I would have done the same for this reason).

What I don’t get is the change of picture for the album in the US, reinforced by the fact that it’s different anywhere else (I wonder if in the Middle East countries the album is available with the glove picture? That would be great, but unlikely…)
Anyway, it’s representative of our generation from the beginning of this century: we’re promising, but fragile…full of hope, but full of doubts…

And concerning covers I think it’s practically impossible to like them (because we’re attached to the feeling that we had when we first heard the original song) even with the best artists, but some covers are better than others:

21 Skye July 28, 2011 at 7:41 pm

I love the idea of this album, but the results were…. disappointing. I enjoyed “Last Nite” and “Hard to Explain” but this NYCC needs to nuked off the face of the earth. Horrifying.

22 heather July 28, 2011 at 9:27 pm

So, Jules likes the covers. He just posted about them on his twitter. 🙂

23 Kate July 28, 2011 at 9:27 pm

@alanna i think julian tweeted something about hearing it but i’m not sure… so don’t quote me on it

24 heather July 28, 2011 at 10:11 pm

From Julians twitter:

Casablancas_J Julian Casablancas
we should cover these covers, they’re all so unique & rad. hearing them like this was really cool for me.…

25 candle wax July 29, 2011 at 2:58 am

i wonder how many peoples opinions will change about the songs when they see what julian said about them @ heather.

kinda a bummer in my opinion. stick to your guns

26 Iasmiine July 29, 2011 at 3:21 am

They are seriously weird… of course Julian would dig them.

27 Tara July 29, 2011 at 4:33 am

I (surprisingly, perhaps) love the covers of ‘Last Nite’ and ‘Alone, Together’, and I think ‘H2E’ is good but not necessarily a version I’d listen to again and again. I think it makes for an interesting, fun listen as a whole, certainly, but mainly it highlights to me again just how brilliant an album ‘Is This It’ really is.

28 heather July 29, 2011 at 7:46 am

@ candle wax: I’m sticking to my guns. 😉

29 Joe July 29, 2011 at 8:00 am

Jules is just being nice. if he said the nycc non-cover sucked, all he’d do is give that dickhead publicity, cause you’d bet your asses that douche would try and turn it into something.

the fuck was stereogum thinking?

30 Deirg July 29, 2011 at 9:46 am

Bad news everyone… It appears that Jules has gone deaf lol

31 Trey July 29, 2011 at 12:35 pm

haha I’m watching the X Games on tv and I hear Under Cover of Darkness come on over the speakers there

32 Trey July 29, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Damn now I know why everyone’s bitching about the NYCC cover. All it is is a bad rapper, alongside a horrendous beat. At least get Kid Cudi or someone decent if it has to be a rapper. Too bad I can’t erase that song from my memory

33 Tara July 29, 2011 at 4:20 pm

The problem with the rap for me is just like “…this isn’t a cover of ‘NYCC'”, y’know? If he wants to take inspiration from the title and his ill-perceived ideas about The Strokes and their wealth then of course he can go and do that, but on a covers album I’d quite like to actually hear someone doing a cover of ‘NYCC’…

34 woon July 31, 2011 at 9:18 pm

personally loved frankie rose doing soma the most, might be better than the original
be sure to listen to her albums and the bands he was in before too (dum dum girls/vivian girls/crystal stilts)

never heard real estate bfore but their dreamy lo fi take on barely legal (possibly my fave track on is this it) has definately made me wanna hear more of them

all in all minus nycc the album really gives a 2011 flavour to songs we all know and love.

also recenly listened to the amazing bluegrass reworking

worth checking out too
ryan adams doing last nite, if u can find it, i dont recall him laying it live more ha a few times (maybe one day his entire cover of the album will be released)

and tokyo police club/2 door cinema club ( 2 of todays best young bands) covering last nite together

35 Olivia August 3, 2011 at 11:10 am

when Is This It played, my ears broke.

36 Olivia August 3, 2011 at 11:46 am

I liked all of them except the very beginning of Is This It, The Modern Age ( it kinda scared me) and NYCC…..the worst cover EVER.

37 alx. August 31, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Tokyo Police Club made a decent reggae-like cover of Under Control, its kinda nice. And Metric did one of The End Has No End.
Both of them are better than most of the ones in the Stroked album for me.

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