Published October 23, 2003.The StrokesRoom on Fire(RCA)Forget the hype. Forget the magazine covers, prep-school past and NYC cool. Take Room on Fire for what it is: an accomplished sophomore album of precise indie-rock that exudes energy. The Strokes don’t stray from their signature sound, making new touches welcome. Hammed-up guitar solos and Cars riffs highlight a perfected Julian Casablancas sneer as Fabrizio Moretti lays down a spectacular drum-machine beat. It’s not as immediate as Is This It but makes up for it in soul. —Johnston Farrow

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