Room on Fire

Music review by
Peter Melton, Common Sense Media
Room on Fire Music Poster Image
Smart music but definitely not for younger teens.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

There are overtones of decadence and ennui.


Some sexual references.


"F---" goin' to that party" (in ":51"), "We were just two f---s in lust" (in "Meet Me in the Bathroom"), "We won't take that s--t" (in "I Can't Win").

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some kids may not understand the alcohol reference in ":51" ("We could go and get 40s"), but it's common parlance in hip-hop.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is one of those CDs that your kids are going to want to have, but reading the lyrics will give you a case of heartburn. The band members have serious drug histories and that informs their music. They are also honest in their treatment of subjects that some parents would rather not deal with. Mature teens beginning to negotiate their way through the challenges of sex and drugs will find much to consider here.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bythewittyman27 April 9, 2008


this is the best band ever, and i have no idea why common sense said this is 16+ and only said graduation by Kanye West is 14+. They also gave Graduation yellow... Continue reading
Adult Written byBrenny February 21, 2009

Somewhat iffy, not sure if Common Sense Media is always right

A very good album. I heard this music when I was 11. I was fine when listened to it. Still, there may be a few uses of strong language. However, they are used a... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byCooltiger37 May 10, 2019

A classic example of CSM showing how utterly stupid they can be

While I normally agree with a lot of CSM's reviews, the one for this album is simply ridiculous. Yes, there's some swearing (including a couple f-bomb... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bySumBO September 30, 2012

You're in a strange part of our town

The strokes are one of the best bands of our generation. Let your kids enjoy them.

What's the story?

ROOM ON FIRE takes the listener on a tour of late nights (\"12:51\") and harsh dawns (\"Between Love & Hate\"), with their moments of emotional emptiness and fitful happiness. Despite the dark subject matter, it's catchy enough that you'll probably find yourself singing along. Because of the wealthy background of the band members and past rumors of drug abuse, it's easy for the listener to bring this baggage to the album. Mature teens beginning to negotiate their way through the challenges of sex and drugs will find much to consider here, but it's a good idea for parents to talk about all the drug, alcohol, and sex references with their kids after reading the lyrics.

Is it any good?

Some bands give themselves hernias trying to be notorious, using profanity and sexism in a desperate bid for attention. New York's Strokes are far more subtle and artistic in their treatment of adult subjects. Overall, Room on Fire is a terrific rock & roll album, spare in its production and passionate in performance.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about about all the drug, alcohol, and sex references, and discuss if that kind of honesty is always a good thing for teen listeners.

Music details

  • Artist: The Strokes
  • Release date: October 28, 2003
  • Label: RCA
  • Genre: Rock
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: August 11, 2015

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