Blue Collar Doesn’t Mean Bad
Some people say that to be good music, it has to be experimental. I donâ€šÃ„Ã´t quite understand that sentiment. Sometimes, music can just be â€šÃ„Ãºgood.” It doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t have to start any trends, push any envelopes, or make anyone mad. It can just be solidly written music.The Strokes second album, Room on Fire, is a fine example of this. It isnâ€šÃ„Ã´t terribly far from its older sibling, and is what could be referred to as “Blue Collar” Rock and Roll. Thatâ€šÃ„Ã´s not saying that itâ€šÃ„Ã´s â€šÃ„Ãºthe working manâ€šÃ„Ã´s music,” like Bruce Springsteen. Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s simply stating that itâ€šÃ„Ã´s not investigational like Radiohead, or offensively unintelligent and dull like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s truly just a solid rock album, non-confrontational, stripped down and simple. Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s what all of those other cookie-cutter garage-rock revival bands wish they could be, but canâ€šÃ„Ã´t achieve due to lack of talent and/or creativity.
This album is a nice subdued follow-up to the Strokes’ first, Is This It. Like the first, it is well-written, well-performed, and well-recorded. It is upbeat yet relaxed, fun, and joyous. It has fast yet simple plodding drumbeats, heavy gut-wrenching bass, hop-y rhythm guitar, and swooning, sometimes Cake-like [and overly distorted] vocals. Its melodies are sweet and sing-able, with subtly surprising little mid-song twists and turns. Room on Fire will make you want to dance amidst other sweaty bodies after a long day at work. Itâ€šÃ„Ã´ll stick itself in your brain. But above all, itâ€šÃ„Ã´ll make you see that average, normal, un-experimental, and blue collar doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t mean bad.