Room On Fire

  • Record Label: RCA
  • Release Date: Oct 28, 2003
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 257 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 257

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  1. rachelz
    Aug 17, 2004
    5
    yea, i know they're filthy rich kids who got their career moving through daddy's wallet, and, to make matters more annoying, flaunt their hypocritical bohemia more than their musical chops, this album is decent...but by no means great. if they just played the damn songs instead of trying ultra hard to make themselves sound low-fi and "cool", as if there really is some yea, i know they're filthy rich kids who got their career moving through daddy's wallet, and, to make matters more annoying, flaunt their hypocritical bohemia more than their musical chops, this album is decent...but by no means great. if they just played the damn songs instead of trying ultra hard to make themselves sound low-fi and "cool", as if there really is some desperation on the line (like these guys couldn't hang back out in their daddies' penthouses on the upper east side if their music didn't work out). the velvets did the low-budget, feedback thang almost 40 years ago--and did it much better and more provocatively. not to mention "psychocadndy" 20 years ago by the jamc. it's time to move on. basically, less thrift store "really, i'm not loaded" juvenile schtick and more production would probably equal more sincerity and honesty, which would help the songs out immensely. and i would probably listen to it again. Expand
  2. thirdman
    Jan 3, 2009
    6
    For the band whose appeal almost entirely depended upon its catchy song-writing skills, it was nigh impossible to repeat its intensity of the 1st album, especially because all the songs were coming out of one guy's brain. Some song-writers are smarter about it, and don't show all their tricks in one album and depend more on the variety of their musical craftsmanship (like Dylan, For the band whose appeal almost entirely depended upon its catchy song-writing skills, it was nigh impossible to repeat its intensity of the 1st album, especially because all the songs were coming out of one guy's brain. Some song-writers are smarter about it, and don't show all their tricks in one album and depend more on the variety of their musical craftsmanship (like Dylan, Bowie, etc) and become known for their musical longevity, but clearly Casablancas wasn't going about his creative process that way, and it shows in this 2nd album. Namely, he seems to have run out of his melodic ideas, and the majority of the songs in this album sound like the songs in the 1st album (or weaker variations of them). That is not just due to the fact that everybody in the band plays exactly the same way as in the 1st album (as many pointed out), or that it was produced in the identical manner as in the 1st, but it certainly doesn't help in terms of painfully highlighting the obvious lack of variety in its song-writings. That said, it's a decent album, and it would've been rated higher if everybody on this planet hasn't already listened to their 1st album millions of times. Expand
  3. JonH
    Apr 7, 2005
    6
    It's a okay listen, not nearly as good as their first album, like all the bad reviews say, it's just a repeat, and not nearly as memorable
  4. ThomasB.
    Nov 11, 2003
    6
    This is a great album, and worthy of its high praise. Every good album ever made has one commonality: great songs. This one is no exception. They're just quality songs by a band with a lead singer who's got a great voice. Better than the first album, I think.
  5. [Anonymous]
    Oct 11, 2003
    5
    The sounds hasn't changed....only flaw is that mostly every song on the album is similar..they could have changed it up a bit
  6. JasonD
    Mar 30, 2004
    6
    One half of a good album. If only the album was more consistant but there are definitely songs which become a chore to listen to. It's also frustrating that this is all the material the band can come up with since Is This It. Not to mention that the recorded versions of the songs played during the Is This It tour are very disappointing.
  7. ChrisD
    Feb 24, 2005
    4
    I don't really like the Strokes, but I still feel they'd have some good potential if they made the songs sound more energetic, rather than flattening the drums until they sound like a machine, and always ALWAYS running the vocals through a meagre light distortion. Once everything stops sounding so muffled maybe some better songs will protrude.
  8. Adam
    Oct 22, 2003
    4
    If i ever meet Julian again, i'll let him know how he helped both create and destroy musical revolutio the period of three years.
  9. JohnA
    Nov 15, 2003
    4
    Very dissapointing. Too me, it sounds like a bunch of songs that weren't good enough for the first record. This is definitely not it.
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 31
  2. Negative: 1 out of 31
  1. Jun 6, 2013
    80
    [Casablancas] builds atmosphere out of evocative lyrics and emotional scenery, and he does it without leaning on linear narrative or songs with singular interpretations.
  2. In the face of hysterical expectation, the Strokes have resisted the temptation to hit the brakes, grow up and screw around with a sound that doesn't need fixing -- yet.
  3. The album is arguably better than the group's much-heralded debut, if by "better" we just mean more sonically impressive overall.