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This Is It?
by Aniko Zala, Staff Writer

The Strokes just released Room on Fire, one of those “much anticipated” sophomore albums that follow incredibly successful debuts.

For sure, their first album, Is This It? was more than well received. It was greeted by an explosion of kids and critics who went wild over the New Wave/New York sound. Those who appreciated bands like Television and the Velvet Underground named The Strokes as their new favorite band.

Striving for a fantastic sound on Room on Fire as well, The Strokes worked with well-known producer Nigel Godrich for the first half of their album. Godrich is famous for his work with Radiohead, as well as a list of other bands so long that it would be tedious to recount. With Godrich working on the album, the band had a lot of creative promise. However, the question, as it always does, still loomed as to how Room on Fire would be received.

The Strokes knew that Is This It? had a brilliant, biting sound. They understandably applied this sound to Room on Fire, hoping to second their success. As a result, Room on Fire has the same exact sound as The Strokes’ first album. It is almost as if they took their first album leftovers and stuck them on the second. The songs are fantastic, catchy and interesting, but The Strokes are sticking to a formula. It’s a given that The Strokes will always sound like The Strokes, but there’s none of the innovation that critics and music kids alike expected with Room on Fire.

Room on Fire has a great sound, but it’s not brilliant. The Strokes can only maintain brilliance if they move on from the sound that gave them their initial success and find something new that is just as explosive.

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