Twenty Years Ago, The Strokes Set the “Room On Fire”

The world of rock music celebrates a precious anniversary this year. In 2003, The Strokes released their ground-breaking album, “Room On Fire”. Put on your old-fashioned headphones and let yourself be transported by Julian Casablancas’ soothing timbre for a nostalgic, yet thrilling musical journey.

« Room On Fire », album cover

“The room is on fire and she’s fixing her hair”, sings Julian Casablancas in Reptilia. This lyric, taken from one of the most beloved The Strokes’ songs, gave its name to their second album, released on October 21, 2003. The album was acclaimed by critics and instantly became a chart-topper, especially in the United Kingdom and the United States. In France, it hit the 16th spot of the albums charts, which is a good score for an independent garage-rock band from America. Indeed, The Strokes already made a name for themselves with the release of their iconic first album, “Is This It?”, two years prior. The Rolling Stone even offered them a cover issue for the release of “Room On Fire”, in which Neil Strauss says The Strokes are “New York’s finest purveyors of coolly detached retro-rock boogie.” What an honour. 

“Room On Fire” contains the essence of The Strokes within 11 tracks and 33 minutes. It has groovy melodies and eclectic sounds, with inspirations coming from Guns’n’Roses, The Cure, but also Cindy Lauper. What’s not to like ? And we know who to thank for that : the lead singer, Julian Casablancas, is also the one writing and composing most songs. “Reptilia”, one of the singles, is clearly a fan favourite. But if you’re feeling nostalgic, I would recommend listening to “Automatic Stop”, with its reggae-like rhythms and mean-sounding lyrics. And if you’re a newcomer, you should give “The End Has No End” a listen. It’s never too late to become a Strokes fan ! 

Twenty years after “Room On Fire”, it seems like a new Strokes album is coming our way very soon… Fans speculate about a tour and possible album in the near future, because the band recently announced several concerts. Good news for the France-based rock lovers : The Strokes will be headlining the Rock En Seine festival this summer !

Rosanna Airiau

Sources :

Cover story in the Nov. 13, 2003 issue of Rolling Stone : The Strokes: Elegantly Wasted – Rolling Stone 

Listen to the album 

Image de couverture : © CC BY 2.0

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *