STROKES, THE – Room On Fire

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"Okay, can someone please remind me why The Strokes were such a polarizing force about two years ago? Listening to Is This It last week had me scratching my head over how it managed to become the Roe vs. Wade of the rock crit world in 2001, with everyone forced to choose sides: "saviors of rock!" or "everything that's wrong with music today!" At the time, I found myself in the latter category, ironically earning myself a spot on this very staff with a lengthy diatribe against the band's hype machine, socioeconomic background, and rampant influence-pilfering. You know, basically everything but the music.

I feel pretty silly about such grandstanding nowadays, having finally listened to, and embraced, at least the show-stopping middle third of The Strokes' debut. But with the release of Room on Fire, both sides of The Great Strokes Debate look a little foolish; NYC's finest have all but given birth to an identical twin. In the interim, a perplexing flirtation with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich ("you know, 'Last Nite' was just a few lasers away from being perfect!") was scrapped, and the band's relentless touring failed to lead them down the cockier, arena-rock path some suspected they'd travel. Instead, Room on Fire is eleven songs sharing DNA with its predecessor, a follow-up of more sleepy, contagious mono-pop that doesn't sound diligently recorded so much as yawned out."

- Pitchfork

What Ever Happened?
Automatic Stop
You Talk Way Too Much
Between Love & Hate
Meet Me In The Bathroom
Under Control
The Way It Is
The End Has No End
I Can't Win