Despite the hype, “Reptilla” failed to set the world on fire. A friend who spends time considering details of this nature argues the second single off The Strokes’ second album arrived on the airwaves too close on the heels of the Franz Ferdinand two-part anthem “Take Me Out.”
He has a point: Room On Fire dropped four months before Franz Ferdinand, but the former album’s original single, “12:51,” distracted the listening population long enough for “Take Me Out” to take root; “Reptilla” arrived later as the underfed, unwanted triplet. There wasn’t room, which is a damn shame considering its chorus is more compelling than anything in either of its predecessors.
We find our narrator (Julian Casablancas) moving on from the girl in “12:51” who was happy to purchase 40s and return to her parents’ abandoned pad. Now, however, the evening is young; he wants to go to that party. Albert Hammond Jr.’s guitar shreds the darkness. A statement of purpose for anyone of a certain mindset: “Yeah the night’s not over / You’re not trying hard enough.”
“Take Me Out” begins, “So if you’re lonely, you know I’m here waiting for you.” “Reptilla” isn’t so solitary. The Strokes tried to find you. Now it’s your turn to return the favor.
[Room On Fire.]