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Room On Fire

3.8 out of 5 stars 344 customer reviews

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Discover this year's nominees on CD and Vinyl, including Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Best New Artist of the Year, and more. Learn more

Frequently Bought Together

  • Room On Fire
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  • Is This It (Vinyl)
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  • First Impressions of Earth
Total price: CDN$ 51.77
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Oct. 28 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music Canada
  • ASIN: B0000C9ZLD
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 344 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,279 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. What Ever Happened?
2. Reptilia
3. Automatic Stop
4. 12:51
5. You Talk Way Too Much
6. Between Love & Hate
7. Meet Me In The Bathroom
8. Under Control
9. The Way It Is
10. The End Has No End
11. I Can't Win

Product Description


Rarely has the burden of expectation weighed so heavily as it does on the Strokes' second album. Room on Fire is an overwhelmingly anxious record, where the band's dilemmas are there for everyone to hear: should they make another record as concise as Is This It? Will they be able to capitalise on their wiry winning formula but avoid exhausting it? And can Julian Casablancas be convincingly offhand when we now know how much effort he makes to sound so disinterested? As a result, Room on Fire isn't an entirely successful album, but it's certainly a compelling one--the testament of five handsomely talented men struggling to work out what should happen next. At worst, songs like "You Talk Way Too Much" are paranoid retreads where the Strokes, having minted such a precise and appealing sound, seem doomed to repeat it in progressively more joyless ways.

But there are moments when Casablancas nudges his band into new, promising directions. "12:51" seems malnourished on first listen, but its sulky, understated twists soon turn out to be memorable. "Reptilia", meanwhile, showcases the fabulous--and teasingly underexploited--guitar playing of Albert Hammond and Nick Valensi, being a collection of chiming riffs and tumbling solos that suggest the Strokes should allow themselves the freedom to rock more often. Oh, and "Under Control" is a dream--specifically, one where the Smiths are playing "Tracks of My Tears". Best think of Room on Fire, then, as an album where the Strokes plot their escape from the predictable, but are a little too cautious to make a proper getaway. Courage, gentlemen. --John Mulvey

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I bought this record after asking the guy at the shop for "something that rocks, and doesn't suck." This CD completely fit the bill. It's the kind of album that you can listen to over and over again, the hooks become like friends, and you hear them in your head when you're not even listening to the music.
Don't listen to the guys who think they are too cool for this disc. Once more then 5 other people like the same band they consider them sellouts. Listen to the album, judge for yourself.
If you like the kind of music that rarely gets made anymore, something with a soul, something with a hook, then you will love this one.
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Format: Audio CD
While this album was made under increasing pressure on the bands part to release something in a matter of monthes, and while Julian himself admits he was not happy with it, and while the entire band said if they had more time then this record would have been exceptional, i think this album has what a lot of albums don't.
It sounds like one long song, but in a very good way. There aren't many blockbusters on this album (12:51, the popular single, is more just an 80's pop tune then anything their really about, and Reptilia and Under Control, being the masterpieces they are, stand alone as the standout tracks) therefore creating a harmonious, calm tone that resonates throughout the entire 30 some odd minutes. You can listen to this album as many times as you damn well please and i assure you, you won't get tired or sick of it.
This is a lot different then their other 2 albums. On Is This It, every song basically is a song in itself. Each song stands on it's own. They are a lot more punchy, more sing-a-long-y, more energetic. Same goes with First Impressions of Earth- every song is its own world. And i get tired of that album faster then the first two put together.
But with Room on Fire, you can just sit back and relax to it. It doesn't have a hyper, energetic presence, and each song is so beautifully constructed and Julians voice is so pleasantly in the background that it is tough to get sick of such a mellow, together sound. Each song needs the other. It all needs everything it has in order to work. 'You talk way too much''s repetitive sound wouldn't work on another album, it would sound, well, reptitive, but it seems to fit in perfectly in regards to its surroundings. 'Under control' wouldn't be the refreshing escape, the melodic heartstring tugger it is.
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Format: Audio CD
Room on Fire does not sound exactly like Is This It, nor does sound it sound completely different, but what we have here is a much tighter, polished sounding recording from a band that has developed musically from their first record. Room on Fire has some amazing moments, and the whole album has a great flow with songs that keep up very nicely. Some really good points are Reptilia, Between Love and Hate, and The End Has No End. The Way It Is is sort of a week spot but it still keeps you on your feet.
The Strokes are the band that started the whole "garage rock scene" and in the past 3 years so many "the" bands came out with their own crap but no one was able to do it better than The Strokes. What's nice to see is that The Strokes influenced some great new bands that didn't just directly rip them off like Elementary Playground (on Purevolume) or Adam Green.
People need to realize that The Strokes are developing just as a band should. Their sound didn't change radically from their first album, but the album hardly sounds the same. It has a very different tone, much more serious and paranoid, and the band has created catchy new songs where it can clearly be seen that actual thought went into creating this music. That is much more than I can say about almost every other band out there.
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Format: Audio CD
After hearing this CD from start to finish, The Strokes have now become my favourite band. Every single song on the CD is catchy, and the style of the music is unique, from the pop-stylings of "What Ever Happened", to the more rock n' roll of "The Way It Is" to the keyboardisque bass of "12:51" to the excellent guitar of "Automatic Stop", every track is a whole new song, a whole new musical journey, The Strokes are definitely one of my musical influences, with me playing the drums, and now that I can play the whole CD, im very happy, Julian Casablancas' low-toned singing is very cool, with Fab Moretti's symbol-snare based drumming that I learned how to do, The Strokes also have 1 of the best style of clothing ever, I am starting to dress like them now, with there tight jeans, old t-shirts, jean jackets, messy hair, its just such a cool style. I highly reccomend this CD to any rock fans who are looking for something new. You Will Not Be Dissapointed!!!!
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Format: Audio CD
These guys are seriously great. They have such a great, fast, tight sound, almost robotic sounding, but its amazing. They displayed their unique yet highly influenced sound on their first album, Is This It. If you've ever listened to a CD and thought "hey, I want to hear a cd with the exact same style only different songs" this is exactly what Room on Fire is in comparison to Is This It. If you have not heard Is This It, I suggest buying it before you buy this album, if you are remotely interested in getting into the Strokes, for Is This It has a few more recognizeable songs.
I can't even really find all that many ways to contrast the two albums (other than what I just said above, that Is This It has more songs that you probably know). One thing I did notice, however, is that drummer Fab Moretti tends to experiment with some various rhythms throughout the album. The guitars and vocals have pretty much remained the same, Julian Casablancas continues to belt in his still mildly-distorted yet excellent vocals. His voice is a bit less apparent in these songs, the guitars mostly dominate most of the tracks. All of the recordings are really crisp and the instruments are nicely arranged in usual Strokes fashion.
So, all in all, Room on Fire is an album for someone who knows and loves the Strokes. It's really just another set of songs that is the same old Strokes, no better, no worse, and still just excellent!
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