Don't Hate Them . . .

COLIN LANE

THIS IS IT: The Strokes' second album doesn't disappoint. Hair gel Sold separately.

All five members of the Strokes appear to have studiously avoided wandering under a showerhead since birth. Yet in photographs they never fail to appear devastatingly stylish, like a bunch of Bowery James Bonds. This poseurship is just one of the reasons it takes immense critical discipline not to hate them. The Strokes' effortlessness is pure fiction; not since the Velvet Underground met Andy Warhol has a band so effectively been art-directed to achieve the look of not having been art-directed. But when you actually hear the Strokes, that cultivated cool disperses with each passing guitar chord, and suddenly, just by...

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