|1. What Ever Happened?|
|3. Automatic Stop|
|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|
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
It's eleven songs that admittedly sound exactly like the Strokes. But somehow, the vocal fluctuations (however drab they may be at times), Fraiture's basslines, and Valensi's melodic guitar playing sound so much better this time around -- so much more inspired. Even the shortcomings seem irrelevant: the lyrics are more simple at times, but Casablancas sure sings the hell out of them. They play so tight, that these guys kiss eachother is definitely in the scope of probability.
Call the record "Strokes filler," but the cuts on the whole win out over their first outing in a lot of ways. I could go on about song structures, hooks (or no hooks), and choruses, but simply put: at the close of each song I am excited about the next one. Part of me is surprised that I can get truly excited about Velvet Underground and Television inflections throughout -- but I am. That makes Room on Fire a new sort of accomplishment, capable of getting me to change my attitude on decades-old music.
I suppose you can't have a second date without a first, and it was 2001's effort, after all, that really got this thing going. However, only at this point have I stopped debating -- and finally decided that this must be it.
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.Read more ›
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.