Room On Fire

  • Record Label: RCA
  • Release Date: Oct 28, 2003
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 256 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 256

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  1. MackB
    Dec 27, 2005
    2
    Say it ain't so. I really loved 'Is This It?' - but I certainly didn't consider them the saviors of rock 'n roll. Anyone with an ounce of music knowledge knows that their sound is decidedly NOT unique. But that was okay for their debut - it was 1 track on repeat 11 times, but that one track was extremely catchy and easy to enjoy. It wasn't challenging or Say it ain't so. I really loved 'Is This It?' - but I certainly didn't consider them the saviors of rock 'n roll. Anyone with an ounce of music knowledge knows that their sound is decidedly NOT unique. But that was okay for their debut - it was 1 track on repeat 11 times, but that one track was extremely catchy and easy to enjoy. It wasn't challenging or original, but it didn't need to be, it was just insanely enjoyable. After the initial thrill of the song(s) wore off, however, I was left with the terrible feeling that this band shouldn't record another record - because it was obvious that they were a one-trick pony. Or is it Phony? I must say, I listened to 'Is This It?' before I read about the hype, or the faux lifestyle represented by the members...and those two elements certainly helped ruin the fun for me. It might as well be me "singing" (Julian isn't really singing) these ditties about seedy, trashy NY life. That would be just as genuine. So what's wrong with 'Room on Fire'? Well, it took these faux musicians 2 years to release the SAME ALBUM. Had this been a debut, 2 years ago, then it would make a fine replacement for 'Is This It?'. As a second album, it fails to achieve even sophomore slump status. This is worse - it's a note for note, verbatim copy. And all this took 2 years plus a scrapped session with Nigel Godrich? I could have made 'Room On Fire' the day after I heard their debut. They could have made a lasting impression on pop-rock had they just stopped with one album. Just how long can they keep up the facade that they're actually musicians anyway? What's worse is that there are legions of mindless souls out there willing to gobble up this unimaginative rehash - and then say that it is the "best thing ever". The Strokes should have just toured for life from their first album - at least then the facade would still be intact. Expand
  2. OliverP
    Jun 3, 2005
    3
    The idea is not a bad one, but the same idea is repeated over and over. On 12:51, Julian Casablancas must be the only singer I have ever heard who sounds just like another guitar. One of the most over-rated bands around.
  3. ScottH
    Apr 7, 2005
    0
    The lead singer can't sing and the band plays the same song over and over again.
  4. PaulF
    Dec 21, 2004
    2
    I can't believe how so many reviewers and people like the strokes. What is it about them? It's like no one has ever heard a decent rock band before! After reading Q's review i went and bought it. What a mistake thet was. Every damn song sounds the same & the lead singers voice never changes tone throughout and sounds completely dull making the album an absolute chore to I can't believe how so many reviewers and people like the strokes. What is it about them? It's like no one has ever heard a decent rock band before! After reading Q's review i went and bought it. What a mistake thet was. Every damn song sounds the same & the lead singers voice never changes tone throughout and sounds completely dull making the album an absolute chore to listen to. It's only 30mins long & i still can't bring myself to listen to it all. Absolute awful - avoid. Expand
  5. Matt
    Sep 27, 2004
    3
    The vastly over-rated "Is This It" is followed by by this vastly over-rated effort. Yet again, background music, nothing grabbing, expect to hear the likes of 12:51 or Reptilia in lifts and fast food restaurants for the next couple of years - it really is perfect for this, but not much else.
  6. Rick
    Jan 29, 2004
    1
    So this is what it takes bands nowadays to become legends, pretty faces, stealing almost everything(musically), and a bunch of screaming 12 year olds..These guys formed a band in Prep school, learned and played C5, D5, and F5 chords, got a drummer that sucks so much, meg white could kick his as# any day, and boom there bigger than anything...Wow , and oh yea, every thing about them is So this is what it takes bands nowadays to become legends, pretty faces, stealing almost everything(musically), and a bunch of screaming 12 year olds..These guys formed a band in Prep school, learned and played C5, D5, and F5 chords, got a drummer that sucks so much, meg white could kick his as# any day, and boom there bigger than anything...Wow , and oh yea, every thing about them is original right, lets see the guy uses enhancements on his voice, the guitars are so slow,boring and so f***ing repetitive,and the drums- i already mentioned the drum... I heard them live once and it was a joke the singer was going out of tune every 30 secounds, the drummer kept a steady boring beat, but the crowd(full of horny girls) was going crazy. The album is almost exactly the same as Is This It, its like the reanimation cd from linkin park..Rehashed s**t, songs like 12:51, under control , and between love and hate sound the same from the previous cd(but with crappier lyrics) the only song i did like was The way it is.. Maybe the guitarist and drummer and ah hell the whole band should take lessons, just to forward there playing ability, because this sounds like s**t...How many times can i listen to power chords played over enhancements voice that to be truthful sounds awful..What I?m i listening to techno Expand
  7. BunifaJ
    Nov 3, 2003
    0
    What is dis crap? I can't baleve I wasted ma bling bling on dis shite right herre. Damn grrl, this CD sucks like ma mamma on a first date! snap snap. Oh yes I did!
  8. MichaelK
    Oct 28, 2003
    2
    Pathetic rehash, much prefer White Stripes and (especially) Interpol to this torrid garbage. When will the singer learn singing through a megaphone IS A GODDAMN ANNOYING EFFECT???!!! If you're considering getting this garbage and you haven't heard Interpol yet, by all means buy theirs instead, Turn On the Bright Lights. Imaginative and vastly superior, and it actually mines a Pathetic rehash, much prefer White Stripes and (especially) Interpol to this torrid garbage. When will the singer learn singing through a megaphone IS A GODDAMN ANNOYING EFFECT???!!! If you're considering getting this garbage and you haven't heard Interpol yet, by all means buy theirs instead, Turn On the Bright Lights. Imaginative and vastly superior, and it actually mines a retro vein no one's touched yet. Expand
  9. jd
    Oct 25, 2003
    0
    Any hyped-up flash in the pan.
  10. AdamX
    Oct 20, 2003
    1
    awful, really... they simply haven't gone anywhere with their sound! the songs sound like poor rehashes, and theres very little in the way of actual tunes (barring the quite good "Whatever Happened?"). Overall i'm sorely disappointed, but not overly surprised...
  11. MoragF
    Oct 10, 2003
    0
    I used to love the Strokes, but then I had this weird moment of realization, they are knobs making music for knobs. Think about it, you'll see.
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.