10) “Meet Me In the Bathroom”
Strokes songs are all about interlocking parts and the pieces fit together so snugly here. Also, one of Nikolai Fraiture’s giddiest basslines during the chorus.
9) “You Only Live Once”
As the lead track on “First Impressions of Earth” it gave false hope that the Strokes would gracefully continue to be awesome forever. Instead, it was their last great moment.
The sunniest song on the debut, which made you briefly consider that the Strokes weren’t pretending to be a bunch of sewer-surfing hooligans but instead pretending to be a bunch of aw-shucks sweet bros.
(The rest of the countdown, after the jump.)
7) “The Modern Age”
Lots of build-up with just a touch of release — one of the band’s best tricks and done to perfection here.
6) “Modern Girls and Old Fashioned Men”
The best of a pretty bare lot of B-sides, this duet with Regina Spektor finds Julian Casablancas sharing the spotlight instead of simply seducing. Still seductive, thought.
The new-wave reinvention that could have been...
4) “Barely Legal”
The only song from the first two albums that could be accused of overstaying its welcome, and Casablancas almost lays the sleazy cool on a bit too thick. But the swag is too phenomenal to deny.
3) “Under Control”
At first the this slow-dance song for hipster prom seemed like the most gimmicky on “Room on Fire.” The eventual realization was that it was the best.
2) “Hard to Explain”
The tinny drums just make everything sound more condensed and efficient. And has there been a song that’s done the “hard pause” better since this one came out?
1) “Last Night”
As if there was any doubt...