Monster Music & Movies



Format: CD
Label: RCA
Catalog: 55497
Rel. Date: 10/28/2003
UPC: 828765549721

Room On Fire
Artist: The Strokes
Format: CD

Formats and Editions


''Room on Fire'' is the second studio album by American Garage Rock Revival band The Strokes. Released in October 2003, it follows 2001's ''Is This It'' and includes three singles: "12:51", "Reptilia", and "The End Has No End". Grammy-winning producer Nigel Godrich was initially in charge of production, but The Strokes felt he made the songs seem "soulless". The band went back to work with ''Is This It'' producer Gordon Raphael. The album features a slightly smoother sound than its predecessor. The bass guitar is less present except for several moments when it becomes the focal point of the song. The album title ''Room on Fire'' was drawn from a line in "Reptilia": "The room is on fire as she's fixing her hair". The record received positive reviews upon release. It reached number two on the UK Albums Chart and debuted at number four in the U.S. on the ''Billboard'' 200, where it went on to sell 597,000 units by October 2006 and was certified Gold. - Wikipedia

Talk about a long-awaited follow-up: BMG record company executives blamed a bad year in part on the delay of the Strokes' second album, landing the frizzy-haired New York City rockers on the cover of the Times' business section over a month before Room on Fire hit stands-months after it was originally scheduled to. The Strokes generated such high hopes because Is This It, the fivesome's fuzzed-out 2001 debut, went gold and became an unexpected rock juggernaut. While execs desperately need the Strokes to pump up the profits, music fans will simply wonder whether Julian Casablancas and his stylish friends have made an album as refreshingly melodic and gritty as the first one.

Room on Fire isn't the departure some expected when the Strokes decided to work with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich. The band quickly split with him and returned toGordon Raphael, who helped them achieve the murky, downtown NYC aesthetic of Is This It, and it turned out to be a wise choice.

Irresistibly tuneful songs like the first single, "12:51," the Police-like, vaguely reggae-inspired "Automatic Stop" and the almost incomprehensible rambler "Meet Me in the Bathroom" retain the searing, soulful characteristics that endeared fans to the Strokes. Other tracks seem to include keyboards, but guitarists Albert Hammond Jr. and Nick Valensi, drummer Fabrizio Moretti and bassist Nikolai Fraiture stick to their instruments; the new wave motifs that pop up throughout Room on Fire come from the guitars. It's a neat trick, and one that updates the '70s vibe without burning any bridges. Of course, Casablancas' distorted, drawling vocals still take center stage, and he's valiantly led the Strokes into rock's promised land.
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