“Room On Fire” by The Strokes

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the release of the second album by the band led by Julian Casablancas and here we will tell you why we consider it a masterpiece.

By Guillermo Varela


After the successful release of their debut album “Is This It”, the nickname of “The Saviors of Rock” that they were carrying thanks to various media and with a great desire to take advantage of the stratospheric rise they were having, Julian, Albert, Nikolai, Nick and Fab set about launching their second material, but not everything was rosy and we’ll tell you about it here.

recording process

The band was enthusiastic after the resounding success of their debut album and the tour that came with it, however when they wanted to go into the studio they decided to leave their producer, Gordon Raphael, aside and try someone much more renowned like Nigel Godrich, who had already worked with Radiohead, Travis and Beck, but things did not go as expected.

According to Nigel’s version, communication with the band and the recordings became a big problem due to the great similarity between him and Julian when they wanted to control the creative; on the other hand, the version of the New Yorkers is that the results were “devoid of soul”.

At the end of the day what was certain is that they had to go back to Gordon Raphael and they only had 3 months to get the material out.

With the pressure of RCA Records, the time limit and already ruled out what was done with Godrich, they had to get down to work, redo what was already recorded and release it on time, which Nick Valensi declared in this regard that “the album would have finished much better if we had had a couple more weeks.”

Festival Ceremony 2023


After the release of the album, the specialized media and critics had a quite favorable reception, although it was not exempt from certain specific points and some other media that branded it as “repetitive and mediocre”.

The points to be discussed regarding the fact that the album had many good songs, but it seemed like a second part of the album released in 2001. On the other hand, the pauses between songs became annoying and it was obvious that it was to lengthen the duration of the LP , which also meant a certain downturn throughout its release.


After 20 years of its release, the work has already collected more than 3 million sales, has generated hymns for the band and was even included in the top 500 “Best Albums of All Time”, in place 360, by from NME, which makes it quite clear that its relevance and importance in the rock scene of the 2000’s was very, perhaps not at the level of its predecessor (which we will also talk about soon) but very close.

With songs like “Reptilia”, “12:51”, “Meet Me In The Bathroom” and “The End Has No End”, the band not only maintained their musical standard and added a bit more variety, but also demonstrated the why they are still considered one of the most popular and respected groups by great exponents such as Slash, Eddie Vedder, Karen O, Jack White, Queens Of The Stone Age, The Killers, Muse, Interpol and Arctic Monkeys, even reaching other genres and artists like Doja Cat, Billie Eilish, Daft Punk, Ke$ha, The Lonely Island, Santigold or Pharrel Williams.

track list

1.- What Ever Happened?
2.- Reptile
3.- Automatic Stop
4.- 12:51
5.- You Talk Way Too Much
6.- Between Love & Hate
7.- Meet Me In The Bathroom
8.- Under Control
9.- The Way It is
10.- The End Has No End
11.- I Can’t Win

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