The Strokes: Room on Fire
“I want to be forgotten/And I don’t want to be reminded” warbles singer Julian Casablancas in the opening seconds of this follow-up to his band’s 2001 debut, Is This It?. Scuttling would-be critics at the outset, the Strokes appropriate failure as their game, an aesthetic that they manipulate here with the dexterity of origamists. Casablancas is a dirty Sinatra, constantly–and purposefully–struggling to stay in key, keep up with the beat, and hit all the notes through a widened musical palette that includes hints of Tom Petty, Bob Marley, and the Cars, as well as intricate melodies that shine through the shambolica.
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