Thursday, Dec. 18, 2003

Room on Fire by The Strokes

As the hype finally settles, it's increasingly clear that The Strokes don't want to save the rock universe, they just want to cruise the Lower East Side. The simplicity of their punk grooves is deceptive — they work hard to sound effortless — but that's to their credit. And the affectation of Julian Casablancas' world-weariness is slowly beginning to sound like character.

Best Tracks: "Under Control," "Between Love & Hate."