The Strokes – Room On Fire 91/100

This album is featured on MTV.com’s The Leak.

I will be the first to admit that I was not a fan of The Strokes when they came out with their first album Is This It?. It wasn’t until they released the catchy party-worthy single Last Nite, that I started to like them. I didn’t like the tone and stage presence of the lead singer Julian Casablancas, he was way too boring, and just stood around acting un-excited by the music his band was playing. Over time, each song started to grow on me more and more, and I can now say that I am a fan of The Strokes.

In their sophomore effort, they come out of the gates sprinting with some pretty rocking songs. I instantly liked the first 4 songs: What Ever Happened?, Reptila, Automatic Stop, and their already released single 12:51. The guitarists seemed to have sharpened their chops on the guitar, and integrated some nice doubling of the vocals, and melodic segways from verse to chorus, and vice versa. This is most apparent on “Reptila”. The Strokes still have that gritty, raw feel to their music, complete with choppy downstrokes on the rhythm guitar. I have started to like Julian Casablancas slacker singing style, he seems to know how to create catchy vocal lines that really complete each song. The bassist doesn’t let the band down either, and gives the songs a solid foundation.

So I can’t believe I’m saying this (given my previous thoughts on the Strokes), but I will most likely pick this album up. I don’t think I’ll become bored of listening to it as there are tons of layers in each song to keep it interesting listen after listen, while staying simple at the same time. Every time I re-listen to a song, I’ll hear a new guitar lick, bass note, or drum fill – definitely the key to making music that people will want to listen to over and over (as proved by Weezer’s Pinkerton album). After 2-4 listens all the way through, I don’t hear a song that couldn’t be released as a single…So you say you’re a fan of the rock music, eh? I highly suggest you pick this one up, play it on roadtrips, or when you’re pre-gaming before going out to bars…it will put you in the right mood.

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