b/w “MODERN GIRLS AND OLD-FASHIONED MEN”
US: 19 (Modern Rock)
UK: 17 (Physical Sales)
I am obsessive compulsive. As such, I like to spend crazy amounts of time making lists, both of the written and play varieties. One playlist I’ve made and have been consistently updating is one I’ve dubbed “Singles Club”. Basically, “Singles Club” is my attempt to collect all of the singles from the various albums, compilations, etc. on my iPod and put them under one roof (so to speak). If it was released as a 7″, 12″, CD single, radio single, video single, download single or whatever else, then it has a place in “Singles Club”. To help make this endeavor seem slightly less masturbatory, I decided to use the playlist as the basis for a new feature, creatively entitled Singles Club. A couple of times a week, I’ll put the SC plsylist on random, and whatever song comes up first is the one I’ll write about. I plan to write a bit about the song, give it some context (maybe some personal reminiscence), and hopefully provide audio, or a video, and physical single info if applicable (i.e. single cover, b-side). So, if you’re not asleep yet, let’s go!
So, the first entry in Singles Club is “Reptilia” by The Strokes, the second single from their second album, 2003’s Room On Fire. Many people seem to think that Room On Fire is little more than a retread of the group’s lauded debut Is This It, a lazy repetition of that album’s style and sound. Many people are wrong. Room is my favorite Strokes album, largely because of what I consider to be a more varied approach to songwriting on the part of Julian Casablancas and more confident, muscular playing on the part of the band. But even the haters seem to have time for “Reptilia”, maybe because it’s one of the Room songs that could most easily have been on its predecessor. Of the three singles from this album, “Reptilia” definitely has more in common with the choppy chords of “The Modern Age” or “New York City Cops”, but it also shows a greater sense of arrangement than many of the more basic tunes on Is This It, presumably due to the band’s enhanced chops derived from extensive touring for that album.
The B-side to “Reptilia” is called “Modern Girls And Old-Fashioned Men”, a duet between crooner Casablancas and singer-songwriter Regina Spektor. Spektor acted as the opener for some of the dates on the Room On Fire tour, and this collaboration makes for a strong flipside.
Here’s the video for “Reptilia” (directed by Jake Scott)…
…and a strange computer animated Sims-esque fan-made video for “Modern Girls”