Room On Fire Review

artist: The Strokes date: 12/05/2005 category: compact discs
The Strokes: Room On Fire
Released: Oct 21, 2003
Genre: Rock
Tones: Volatile, Brash, Exuberant, Bittersweet, Freewheeling, Swagger, Energetic, Rambunctious
Styles: Indie Rock, Garage Rock Revival
Number Of Tracks: 11
 Sound: 9.8
 Lyrics: 9.1
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (8) 9 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
Room On Fire Reviewed by: zappp, on october 23, 2003
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: The music is just as terse and unforgiving. In "Reptila," instruments blitz in and out of your face with the abrupt precision of a Lee Perry dub mix: a single, grinding guitar; Fraiture's pumping, one-note bass; the whole band in full, flailing rave-up. At times, the near-mono severity of Raphael's production seems designed to keep the Strokes off the radio. There is so much boxy compression on the high-speed bass, guitars and drums in "The Way It Is" that it sounds like the band cut it in the locked trunk of a '56 Chevy doing 110 miles an hour. // 10

Lyrics: Singer-songwriter Julian Casablancas delivers his put-up-or-fuck-off telegrams in a brusque, corrosive drawl, and producer Gordon Raphael wraps up the whole package with airtight austerity. // 10

Overall Impression: Change is good. It can be important, even historic. It is not always necessary. One of the best things about Room on Fire, the Strokes' second album, is that, in most of the ways that matter, it is exactly like their first. Nick Valensi's and Albert Hammond Jr.'s dirty-treble guitars cut 'n' thrust over the hard-rubber bounce of bassist Nikolai Fraiture and drummer Fabrizio Moretti. On first impact, Room on Fire is to 2001's Is This It as the Ramones' second album, Leave Home, was to their knuckle-sandwich debut -- a perfect twin. But the Strokes who made Room on Fire are not the cocky overnight sensations of two years ago. In the album's opening damage report, "What Ever Happened?," Casablancas' voice is so disfigured by fuzz in the first verse ("I wanna be forgotten/And I don't wanna be reminded"), it's as if he's singing over a broken speakerphone from a burning building. Like any good New Yorker, Casablancas is suspicious and impatient by nature. But the distance and distrust in his songwriting and ashen monotone on Is This It were nothing like this. Casablancas sings the title chorus of "You Talk Way Too Much" with cold, dry calm -- the high, mocking whine of the lead-guitar break provides extra cruelty -- and wraps up the brittle reggae of "Automatic Stop" with even less gallantry: "I'm not your friend/I never was." There are also jolts of color and dropped guard -- hints of what the Strokes must have hoped for in their aborted sessions for this record with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich -- in the whistling-synthesizer guitar lick in "12:51," a cheerful shot of '78 Cars; and the pneumatic, sighing strum of "Meet Me in the Bathroom." But another of the best things about Room on Fire is that, in the face of hysterical expectation, the Strokes have resisted the temptation to hit the brakes, grow up and screw around with a sound that doesn't need fixing -- yet. "Please don't slow me down, if I'm going too fast," Casablancas sings with heavily distorted irritation in "Reptila." If you want comfort and clarity, you're definitely in the wrong room. This record was built for thrills and speed. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Room On Fire Reviewed by: Staind 14, on november 08, 2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The Strokes' sound is a mix of alot of things. At some times, they can get pretty hard for being alternative, and then at other times their songs are peaceful enough to put you to sleep. But one thing remains the same: The Strokes really manage to kick butt. Nikolai Fraiture's bass skill is at an all time high as usual. Really, I think the bass is the best part when it comes to how the Strokes sound. And of course, Julian Casablancas' unique voice once again has that muffled effect, which makes the songs sound even cooler than usual. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics, once again, remain abstract and somewhat of a mystery. It's kind've annoying that you can't hear what Julian's saying half the time, and when you can, you're trying to figure out what he's saying lyrics wise. Then again, sometimes abstract is good. Who cares, really. // 8

Overall Impression: Overall, The Strokes remind me of abstract art: kind've hard to figure out, a little weird, but still cool. Their style isn't really anything, which makes them worth it. This cd is definitely worth buying, just because it's plain cool. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Room On Fire Reviewed by: Sorcerer Steve, on december 05, 2005
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Room On Fire a very impressive album when it comes to sound. Clear quality, catchy riffs like 12:51's and some superb solo's like the mindblowing one in Reptilia. The band plays well with no mistakes or music which doesn't fit. Their songs often have clean guitar and heavy bass which go well together. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are excellent. They fit the music, are cleverly written and are catchy. The lead singer out of Strokes sings in a unique way. The way he sings in my opinion is in contrast to the music which actually is good as it makes the music different from any other song and is quite alot more interesting to listen to. // 9

Overall Impression: This album tops any other which I have heard. This album is in its own league. Ther most impressive songs are 12:51 with uts catchy guitar and Reptilia with its great vocals and riffs. I love all of the songs on the album, there isn't anything I dislike really. I would buy this album again if it was stolen or lost. // 10

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overall: 10
Room On Fire Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 26, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The riffs on the guitars excite me, their lively playing make you hum their songs when you are doing all sorts of things... // 10

Lyrics: Julian Casablancas sings the lyrics with such energy that you can't help but love him. The lyrics are twisted but in a weird way they're understood. I don't where they get their insperation but from songs lik 'between love and hate' it sounds like from stuff like proms, and hotels and...wait for! // 10

Overall Impression: I find this album the best in ages, it isn't anything like their old one (is this it?). It's catchy, it's exciting, it's different, it's fantastic. I especially love 'automatic stop' where the bass has a solo its the kind of song that you never get sick of. And the drums in under control are undescribable. the guitars are cool, and the lyrics are mad. They are 100% the coolest band in the world (I mean they use beer for hair-gel, cool or what?). I would recommend it to anyone!!! :-) // 10

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overall: 10
Room On Fire Reviewed by: sential, on february 12, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Okay let me start of by saying I loved the first Strokes album(Is this it), so I was really looking forward to their second album. However,I was hesitant to buy this album at first because I had heard their first single from it, 12:51, and I wasn't really impressed. Well unfortunately I had been missing out, because every song on this album kills 12:51. This album is probably less catchy than the last album, but more rocking. They strum along then explode into chaos. The riffs are unique and original. The solos are amazing but almost minimal in a way, with every note holding the solo together, no unnecessary masturbatory soloing here. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are amazing. Julian seems to always put a play on his words, and can make a song change meanings halfway through. You'll be listening along, thinking you got the song figured out then he just says unexpected things like "so many fish in the sea, she wanted him, he wanted me..." How does he come up with this $hit? I think the lyrics are witty, emotional, meloncholy, and sometimes funny. His songs that mention girls are great because he's not whining about them, he's telling them off in a way. If you are going through a break up just listen to "Between Love and Hate" and repeat "I never needed nobody...", then listen to "Meet me in the Bathroom" and you'll realize that you were "just two f*cks in lust". // 10

Overall Impression: I don't know who to compare the Strokes to. I know there have been references comparing them to velvet underground and ramones, but, they seem to be neither one, but nice blend of both...sorta. They sound influenced by them, but Julian's voice is very distinct, and no one else really sounds like the Strokes. My favorite songs on the album are "Whatever Happened", "Reptilia", "Automatic Stop", and "Under Control". Oh yeah, check out the solo on "I can't win" at about 1:36, it's great. You think they are soloing along, then the guitar just start soaring. Absolutely amazing. If this album were stolen from me, I'd definitely be pissed, because I haven't taken it out of my car for a month straight. Definitely worth buying, and if you don't have the first one, buy it too. // 10

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overall: 10
Room On Fire Reviewed by: Troy Simple, on march 17, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Many critics have stated that the Strokes second album Room on Fire changes very little from their first albums Is This It. And for the most part this is true. Room on Fire plays it safe and while it does show definate growth in the songwriting especially in the lyrical department it is a rather safe record. I think this was the way to go for the Strokes. You do here hints of where they may go in the future in such songs as their first single of the album "12 51", and "The End has no end" both of those songs the guitars are tuned to sound like keyboards. To be honest it was the first album that got the Strokes their loyal region of fans (mostly college aged students) so why try and mess with that same sound. How much can you really change in a year anyway. The Strokes so far are shaping up to being one of the most promising, original, and piognant bands of the 21st century so far. Their third albums will really determine what will happen with that potential. Much like the Clash with London Calling. The Clash's first two albums sounded relatively the same as well as the Ramones first two. // 10

Lyrics: The Lyrics on "Is This It" were for the most part about relationships and obstract things. But for the most part you could understand most of the lyrics and there wasnt that much mystery. But what makes Room on Fire a better lyrical record is that fact that the lyrics on most songs are a complete mystery and very off the wall obstract just like most good art is. Lyrically, songwriter Julian Casablancas seems to be very much in the mold of Frank Black of the Pixies. // 10

Overall Impression: More great hooks like the first album, on some songs even sweeter than the first go around (Reptilia, Under Control, 12 51) and although it doesnt have those songs that will stand out and grab you like Is This It had (Last Night, Barely Legal, Hard to Explain, Someday) it is a better overall record then their debut. And a record that you truly can listen to straight through. Job well done Jules, Fab, Al, Nick, and Nikolai. // 10

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overall: 7.3
Room On Fire Reviewed by: EmO_RuleZ!!, on april 26, 2004
0 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: Overall the sound of this cd, in my opinion, is a little bit of a growth from 'Is This It?' Personally I like the new cd, 'Room on Fire' than the first cd. The guitar is catchier the drumming is better, and I love the bass. // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics for this album, I like, but they get kind of repetitive after listening to them for awhile. Like in "I never needed any body" The chours is annoying. But overall nicely written, but the exception is the chourses. // 6

Overall Impression: Overall, the new cd is really really well done. But after the first 5 or 6 songs the record gets kind of boring. So for the best songs, listen to the first 5 tracks. I would recomend to buy it if your a Strokes fan or if your a fan of the genre of music of this band. I would definitely replace it if lost or stolen. Overall, good sophmore album. // 8

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overall: 10
Room On Fire Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 13, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is an awesome album with some great sounding riffs that stick in your head fitting with the beat and base brilliantly. Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond Junior have their own unique sounds and go well together. Best songs being "12:51" and "Reptillia," although basically every song on the album is of high quality making this album a great buy. // 10

Lyrics: Casablanca's voice makes it hard to tell some of the lyrics, but the lyrics that can be heard sound great against the riffs and base. His voice is unique and slightly addictive, sticking in tour head days after you've listened to it. // 10

Overall Impression: This album is a great follow up to "Is This It" and I would say is slightly better, but not by much. As well as 12:51 and Reptillia I also like "What Ever Happened" and "Under Control," with no particularly annoying songs that I can remember. If I lost this album I'd buy it again, no doubt as it is definately worth the money I paid for it. // 10

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