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  • Adrian's Album Reviews |

    White Stripes

    get behind me satan elephant icky thump De Stijl white blood cells

    The White Stripes 7 ( 1999 )
    Jimmy The Exploder / Stop Breaking Down / The Big Three Killed My Baby / Suzy Lee / Sugar Never Tasted So Good / Wasting My Time / Cannon / Astro / Broken Bricks / When I Hear My Name / Do / Screwdriver / One More Cup Of Coffee / Little People / Slicker Drips / St. James Infirmary Blues / I Fought Piranhas

    Meg White and John Gillis are The White Stripes - a guitar player/singer songwriter and his ex-wife drummer. John Gillis is of course now better known as Jack White, and the couple are now known as brother and sister, a bizarre untruth peddled by the group for reasons that remain unclear. They lack a bass player of course, something many fans and critics have concentrated upon. Rather no bass player than a bass player playing out of step funk lines going 'dink dink dink' as many hard rock groups seem to employ! But then, The White Stripes aren't a hard rock group. They are very much rooted in the alternative scene with added blues influences ala John Spencer Blues Explosion. The White Stipes wear red and white ( and black ) matching clothing and have a burning desire for recognition and fame quite unlike the scene from which they were brought. But, anyways....sex, lies and videotape out of the way, what's the album like? Well, we open with booming, very primitive primal sounding drums and guitar straight out of the Seventies. Then the whole thing explodes in distortion - the singer is barely legible in terms of words sung, but sounds on the edge, as the whole song does. Its strangely exciting in its amateurishness, even if Jack White does sound uncannily like Robert Plant in places. Still, 'Jimmy The Exploder' is good, great even. I love the feel of it. 'Stop Breaking Down' follows and you begin quite naturally to get excited about the back to basics, loud, noisy and furious approach. 'Suzy Lee' is a piece of traditional blues, 'Sugar Never Tasted So Good' has a breezy little guitar line amid odd percussion effects. 'Wasting My Time' is forgettable and 'Canon' opens with a strangely familiar riff. The White Stripes plough familiar territory as far as melodies and writing are concerned, but the sound is SO raw, they manage to be slightly ( not greatly ) different in any case.

    'Broken Bricks' is The White Stripes in full effect! Very silly, very primitive, but supremely exciting in a dumb kind of a way. A helluva noise is created! It obliterates all thoughts from your brain and is akin to being bashed over the head with a large stout stick. None of the songs immediately following this are as interesting though, all repeat the same formula as before but with less inspiration. Reaching the close of the album, the sameness of the sound becomes very irritating. So, its all the more welcome when a cover of Bob Dylans 'One More Cup Of Coffee' arrives. It's a great song in any case and sounds very haunted and alluring as performed here. 'St James Infirmary Blues' replaces the guitar with Piano, works very well. Variety! Ah, I dunno. As far as this album is concerned, you could stick it on random play or listen to a couple of songs, and be more than highly satisfied. But, as a complete album experience, it feels as if something isn't quite there. But then it is a debut, so i'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

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    Readers Comments

    Rick Wolfe rickwolfe8@cox.net
    I've looked at several of the reviews on your site for a while and then I found The WHite Stripes little section. Thank you for the good review of their debut. I agree wholheartedly with what you say; anyone dubbing the album a classic is out of thier cotton picking mind and anyone completely dismissing it is no better. Thanks again.


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    De Stijl 8 ( 2000 )
    You're Pretty Good Looking / Hello Operator / Little Bird / Apple Blossom / I'm Bound To Pack It Up / Death Letter / Sister, Do You Know My Name? / Truth Doesn't Make A Noise / A Boy's Best Friend / Let's Build A Home / Jumble, Jumble / Why Can't You Be Nicer To Me? / Your Southern Can Is Mine

    What happens? Well, they do much the same as before. The same guitars, vocals, drums approach recorded very raw and live, I suppose.  Love the opening song, a little poppy melody encased within a garage rock, recorded in an actual garage ( by the sounds of it! ) approach. 'Hello Operator' is hard hitting and 'Little Bird' includes nice blues sounds. I welcome the blues sounding alive like this. The pounding drums of Meg White come in, the guitar see-saws - this is good stuff. A change of style for 'Apple Blossom', and it becomes apparent that 'De Stijl' is a better paced record than the debut, that a little more thought went into it, or perhaps just that Jack White had gotten a little better at writing songs. 'Apple Blossom' includes Piano, a nice vocal melody and a gorgeous feel. It sounds fifty years old, in the best possible way. 'I'm Bound To Pack It Up' is a good folk song, and this guy can write songs that sound authentic, so much so - you worry that they actually are. The songs and lyrics are nothing new, nothing astonishing, but for this album at least - just so easy to listen to. You'd expect something of a song called 'Death Letter' wouldn't you? It doesn't disappoint. Bluesy electric guitar - simple parts. Primitive drums, simple parts. Simple lyrics and a simple vocal approach. Is there a theme developing here? Sometimes the key to a good artist is in being so into your own music, you convince the listener that its good simply through your own conviction. There is plenty of conviction all through 'De Stijl', and yeah, it convinces. 

    'Sister, Do You Know My Name' sounds sweet and romantic and I adore the guitar sound in places. Only in places, but in all places it's okay, you know? The vocal is soft and makes you believe everything is real - again, a suspension of disbelief thing going on. And this song is followed by a song intriguingly titled 'Truth Doesn't Make A Noise'. Jack varies his guitar tone, and plays piano too. Good song, dark sounding, very atmospheric and haunting. Of the remaining five songs, not everything works. The brief blast of noise that is 'Jumble, Jumble' may be better titled 'Jungle Jungle' given the sound it evokes. Good stuff, actually! 'Why Can't You Be Nicer To Me' goes down Led Zeppelin road and the closing 'Your Southern Can Is Mine' is back to the blues/folk roots. Like Jack is singing from a field - again, convincing. 'De Stijl' convinces, is very listenable and modest sounding and an improvement over their debut.

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    Readers Comments

    Rick Wolfe rickwolfe8@cox.net
    I love all of the reader comments on this page. For example, their isn't a single one for the Stripes first two albums and people still fell free to trash the reviewer despite the fact that they have only listened to White Blood Cells and Elephant. Death Letter 4ever!!

    Mike Harrison cathairball5000@yahoo.com
    This album rates a solid 8. No more than an 8, though, because I get the impression that the Stripes are trying to find the right rock/folk/slide blues mix.....it usually works well, though. I like how the Stripes can keep a song simple, yet maintain a good degree of melody. "You're Pretty Good Looking" is a great way to start a White Stripes album, as they crash into the tune.

    harles D. Piluski chimneysweep76@yahoo.com
    I'm pretty sure that Death Letter is actually a cover of an old Son House song. There are covers on most White Stripes albums, but Jack White is damnably good at rearranging them and credits his sources, so who really cares?


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    White Blood Cells ( 2001 )
    Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground / Hotel Yorba / I'm Finding It Harder To Be A Gentleman / Fell In Love With A Girl / Expecting / Little Room / The Union Forever / The Same Boy You've Always Known / We're Going To Be Friends / Offend In Every Way / I Think I Smell A Rat / Aluminum / I Can't Wait / Now Mary / I Can Learn / This Protector

    'Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground' is a song often picked out as a highlight when The White Stripes play live. This album is picked out as something resembling their masterpiece and a saviour of modern music. But, wait! It sounds exactly like their last album! It sounds not a million miles away from their debut, either! Were those records acclaimed as saviours of modern music? No, because nobody knew who The White Stripes were, and nobody much cared either. Perhaps they've simply 'come into fashion'? In any case, 'Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground' is just a little too simplistic to be taken very seriously. Its not bad exactly, just repetition, repetition, repetition, etc, etc, etc, etc. 'Hotel Yorba' is incredibly simplistic with its 'one two three four' lyric an attempt at writing a pop song. It sounds so ridiculous it actually works quite well if only as a harmless piece of fun. 'I'm Finding It Harder To Be A Gentleman' whilst still nothing new is at least decent, but only in the sense of sounding raw and on the edge. The hit 'Fell In Love With A Girl' follows and yeah, its pretty fine. 'Little Room' offers welcome respite, ditching Jack White's sometimes grating guitar sound. 'Little Room' like the following song 'The Union Forever', offers intriguing lyrics - something a little meatier to get hold of. The second side of the album develops a little both in writing and sound. 'The Same Boy You've Always Known' features a nice vocal, good angry shouted parts and a more developed structure. 'We're Going To Be Friends' is just a sheer delight, simple lyrics this time, almost nursery rhyme - but they suit the folk style guitar picking, which incidentally is welcome as sonic variation.

    The next few songs that follow don't add to this, the album, or their career - being re-treads of what they've done before, and not better one's either. 'I Can't Wait' just explodes though, and offers some interesting lyrics. The closing 'This Protector' is piano led and all the more enticing because of it. A decent enough album actually, but the question must be, can they do it again? Can they make the same album using the same formula again? Would it even be wise?

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    Readers Comments

    debaserediting@hotmail.com
    Ive read your white stripes review. i just wanted to say that you are a souless waste of life, and have no business critiquing anybody. You will probably become a balding middle aged elementary school art teacher, telling children why their paintings are dumb. You obviously dont play an instrument, and if you do, you should stop, you have no business in art, music, or critiquing anything. become an accountant or something, just do ever come near me because I am afraid of people like you.

    scoobee629@attbi.com
    Keep this in mind. I'm not saying that the White Stripes are geniuses or anything, but it is up to the public to decide on genius. Nirvana played very simplistic music and stayed fairly true to the same format for their albums yet Cobain obviously mastered the art of the simple, hooky rock song.The same can be said of the Stripes. They take a very interesting approach being a two piece. They also add to the mix a rocky type of slide blues. Their songs are simple but fun and people like them. If people like your songs, and buy your stuff in droves, well then, perhaps this indicates you know what you are doing.

    Leopold Bloom meldrain@AOL.com
    You shouldn't profess to know what constitutes genius; it's up to the public to determine that. Ergo all the shit that sells well like Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears is bloody brilliant stuff. You've obviously don't play an instrument and if you do, stop, cause you're keeping the neighbors up.

    David d_bankier@hotmail.com
    People need to calm down, this is a site based on Adrian's OPINION, calling someone a "souless waste of life" is dreadful. Anyway, onto the review. I think it has too much filler, I find White's acoustic efforts to be very dull. However, Hotel Yorba and Fell in Love With a Girl are great, simple, fun songs. "Elephant" is far better though.

    Carey Marks careymarks@hotmail.com
    RE: debaserediting@hotmail.com comments. Writing such negative and rude comments leads nowhere. You ought to try and be constructive with your critism, by "debasing" him (I noticed this is your name) you simply prove what an asshole you are. Everyone else has noticed such.


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    Elephant ( 2003 )
    Seven Nation Army / Black Math / There's No Home For You Here / I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself / Cold Cold Night / I Want To Be With The Boy / You've Got Her In Your Pocket / Ball And Biscuit / Hardest Button To Button / Little Acorns / Hypnotize / Air Near My Fingers / Girl You Have No Faith In Medicine / It's True That We Love One Another

    Jack White has apparently been quoted as saying, "If people find out everything about us, then we're finished" - the kind of comment that leads to speculation. What could this everything be? Are The White Stripes really the Milli Vanilli of garage rock? Is there some terrible secret hidden in Jack and Megs closet that we don't know about? We've already had the whole thing about are they, or are they not, brother/sister. We've had the whole marriage thing. We've had plenty of hype and the inevitable reaction against that hype. Does any of this even matter? Perhaps Jack White is going to pull off his mask at any moment, to reveal that he's really been Bryan Adams having a bit of a laugh all along?

    Ok, so probably not. Anyways, you know that I never much liked 'Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground'? Well, 'There's No Home For You Here' repeats melodies from that song in places - but there's much else going on besides. The whole, overall effect renders 'Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground' completely redundant - they've moved on, got better. A complaint surrounding The White Stripes has been their lack of bass guitar sounds! Oh, we've got something for you here if you were one of those complaining ones. I know I was.... Anyways, apparently IT ISN'T an actual bass guitar that's being played on 'Seven Nation Army', but it sure as hell sounds like one. So, 'bass' and Megs drums. An urgent energy and atmosphere, mentions of the British Queen in passing.... This album was recorded in London. That's kind of nice, given that the UK music press were really responsible for breaking The White Stripes. The hype may have been hard to believe, but it did get them noticed, and that reflected back to the American press. And yeah, 'Seven Nation Army' is the best opening song on any of the four White Stripes albums so far. Going back and forth from the bass sound to astonishing genuine guitar sounds with shouted, raw vocals. Works for me. And, hell yeah! That 'bass' sounds groovy as fuck. Count me in as one pleased listener. 'Black Math' sounds fast, raw - all the usual White Stripes elements are here, but it just sounds better. There's a squealing, almost electronic sounding section at one point. And, it follows the opening song, joins the third song - and we really DO have ourselves the best White Stripes so far.

    And, omigod! Like, groovy! The White Stripes cover one of my very favourite songs, from the immortal Bacharach And David writing team. 'I Don't Know What To Do With Myself' manages to suit The White Stripes down to the ground, and utterly convinces in a lo-fi raw rock guitar with no bass style. Sigh! Jack sounds really great here, especially with the high vocal parts. This is now officially my favourite Jack White vocal performance, bar none. And, god! I used to complain.... The other 'White', Meg, sings the fifth song here. She really wants TO BE Moe Tucker from The Velvet Underground, doesn't she? This isn't a shining moment akin to any of the opening songs, but it works to help the album. You see, this album has variation in sound and style all through it. By god, it even has bass guitar sounds! A couple of songs arrive that could have come straight from 'White Blood Cells', so if you're a huge fan of that particular album, then there's something here reassuring for you. On the otherhand, 'Ball And Biscuit' is seven minutes long. Grinding and dirty, and the kind of song that could easily have replaced half of the songs on 'White Blood Cells' quite happily. 'The Hardest Button To Button' is a typical White Stripes song title, includes a fuzzy sound resembling a bass sound, but we know that it isn't a bass, really. Still, great song! 'Little Acorns' includes a spoken introduction and really, very squealing guitar. 'Air Near My Fingers' resembles 'White Blood Cells', only played faster, with more confidence. 'Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine' is hugely fun, with shaking tambourine sounds and all taken at 100 miles an hour.

    Choosing to record this album live, in just a matter of days - really paid off. They sound like they went into the studio full of beans, and confidence. Jack White is pictured holding a cricket bat on the front cover, and the closing song is a little hokey and jokey - including a guest vocalist, along with Jack and Meg - trading lines, and having fun with the already growing White Stripes history and story. It's not a highlight here, but it's so silly, I'll live with it.... and? A fine album overall. Their best yet? Sure, why not. It is, actually.

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    Readers Comments

    Jason Heuer jasonheuer@yahoo.com
    I cannot believe that you managed to give an american act(other than the beach boys) a rating as high as an 8.5! I am stunned. Although this may be the best album to come out in a few years, the stripes certainly have nothing on such great manchester acts as new order and the stone roses.

    bass player edd eddie123zeppelin@hotmail.com
    The white stripes suck. I thought they were o.k. until i realised bands like floyd, zeppelin, beatles, stones e.t.c. rule. and no i'm not biased beacause i,m a bass player. Learn to play guitar jack.

    Mike amishrevolt97@sbcglobal.net
    Definitely agree with the 8.5 (I generally agree with most of your ratings). Don't understand all the 10/10 that are some magazines are giving it though. It is good, made with no equipment after 1963. I read somewhere that had this actually been made in '63 it would be considered the greatest album of all time. But in '04, it is merely quite good. What I see here is a concept album. A concept album about breaking up. Album starts out with a couple fighting (Seven Nation Army, Black Math), the girl kicks the guy out (There's No Home For You Here). The mellow songs that follow are all about how he misses her, and wants her back. Then in the glorious "Ball and Biscuit," he leaves a message on her machine saying "It's quite possible that I'm your third man,girl, but it's a fact that I'm the seventh son!" and "You will care about me by the time I'm through, now listen" followed by a long, angry guitar solo that speaks for itself. However, I'm probably the only one who se! es it as a concept album.

    John That1guy988@yahoo.com
    I don't really see how you can say that about Jack White. The band is a fantastic mix of blues, folk, and rock. They should be credited for what they have done with such simple songs. It is a lot harder to write such a good and simple rock song than most think. And what does that mean that you are unbiased because you are a bass player?

    M. Parlor amattaway@wmconnect.com
    Ah, Elephant's a fine album and was a good discovery for me. I still swear that "Ball And Biscuit" is a rip-off of Bob Dylan's "Meet Me In The Morning", though. Aside from that and In The Cold Cold Night, all songs are at least good. 9/10

    beatles fan beatlesman62@blueyonder.co.uk
    has its moments but all in all a bit bland to listen to. BTW Mike they couldn't have written this album in 1963. The bands they were influenced by (and somtimes rip off) came after 63 and also power chords were invented in 64 or 65 by Pete Townshend.

    Gazza garyhess44@hotmail.com
    Purchased on the strength of seven nation army - the best rock track ive heard since smells like teen spirit , and the rest of the album is solid enough too. Particularly like "black math," the mo tucker homage "cold cold night" "the hardest button to button" and the prowling zep like blues of "ball and biscuit" . The finale is sweet and funny too . The stripes are basically a 2 piece garage rock band with a more pronounced blues influence , and whats fresh about them apart from the bass free sound is the lack of modern production techniques on their records .(Liam watson is a better engineer than albini and shows the bands nous in choosing him) No big name producers either , they remain aside from most of todays rock crowd , they have the songs to back up the chops and most of all they are prepared to let the music stand and fall on its own merits . Its unfashionable to see this kind of sound back in vogue - lets hope they can keep producing.

    shashwat Shashwat_pande101@hotmail.com
    elephant though a great album dosn't deserve an 8.5 rating the second half of the album i.e after ball and biscuit is pretty weak hardly any material there,elementary lyrics and poor song structue i'd give it a 7.5


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    Get Behind Me Satan 9 ( 2005 )
    Blue Orchid / The Nurse / My Doorbell / Forever For Her / Little Ghost / The Denial Twist / White Moon / Indistinct Blues / Passive Manipulation / Take, Take, Take / As Ugly As I Seem / Red Rain / I'm Lonely

    As a band, The White Stripes are limited by their line-up, obviously. Jack White can sing, play guitar and piano. Meg plays drums. Previously, we've seen such albums as 'White Blood Cells' concentrate almost exclusively on the bashing drums, bashing guitar and screamed vocals White Stripes sound. 'Get Behind Me Satan' contains less guitar than any previous Stripes effort. Jack plays lots of piano. Additional instrumentation is added in the form of glockenspiel, etc, etc. Colour is added, shade and variety. Acoustic guitar embellishments over electric. A few more typical Stripes efforts included as well, obviously. As a reminder to myself how far The White Stripes now seem to have come, do you remember a few years back when both The White Stripes and The Strokes first arrived? Hence the link right at the bottom of this page. To place The Strokes and White Stripes together now in the same sentence seems ludicrous. Also ludicrous is a rumour I heard that Jack was going to scrap this entire album until 'Blue Orchid' arrived at the last moment. As if that was somehow proof that this is the weakest Stripes effort yet. I read that in a review that was less than pleased with this new LP. Pants to them, I love this album, can't stop listening to it. As much as I enjoyed 'Elephant', this new Stripes effort arriving with only an ounce of the hype of the previous few, such is the insipid hold of the likes of 'The Bravery' and 'The Killers', has far surpassed my expectations. First single 'Blue Orchid' is deceptively familiar to previous Stripes efforts. It may disappoint you, but this two minute long single that ends abrutly is just a scene setter. We progress from there to the likes of the acoustic guitar plus bongos 'Little Ghost'. A proper, genuine song that doesn't rely on furious electric thrills and comes across as that much more charming and genuine and timeless as a result. It's captivatingly simple, as many of the songs here are. In more familiar Stripes mode is 'My Doorbell', piano instead of guitar, those delightful 'meg moments'. A repeated refrain, "i've been thinking about my doorbell". What more do you need?

    The slightly strange and disconcerting 'The Nurse' emcompasses all the differences between this White Stripes effort and all of the others. Strange instrumentation, quite bare. Very quiet, then come in random brief drum bursts that seem at odds with everything else. The vocals and lyrics are interesting, the words are great. Meg does these huge drum and cymbal bursts. It's great! The thirty four second long, meg sang 'Passive Manipulation' is typical of this albums desire to provide the listener with surprise and variety. Not that 'Get Behind Me Satan' varies in sound and style hugely from one song to the next. Don't get me wrong, we've got 13 songs here that form a very cohesive whole. That's much of the reason I love this record. Yet, we don't get bogged down in song after song sounding exactly the same, repeating the same guitar tone yet with varying deegrees of anger. Instead, we get the likes of 'White Moon'. Mournful sounding, yet with meg providing a deegree of light and shade, hard and soft. 'Instinct Blues' takes the original White Stripes blues influences that were sometimes obscured on the last couple of LPs and takes them to another level. 21st century blues, for certain. Finally, i'll mention 'As Ugly As I Seem'. A country/folk/blues singalong that ties together varies stylistic and genre strands and has been recorded so cheaply and naturally that it could have been recorded at any time 1969 onwards. That's talent. Jack White's knack of writing songs that sound so very simple in structure yet they just do draw you in. That's talent. This strangely downbeat and slightly angry, yet not obviously as in your face anger as other White Stripes efforts 'Get Behind Me Satan' is something that no other current band could produce. They've finally forged their own utterly unique sound and scene.

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    Readers Comments

    Skippy brutalii_honest@hotmail.com
    i agree mostly with your review, get behind me satan is a great album, tho i don't really like the nurse,but think my doorbell is amazin, anyway, however, i think elephant is better, but thats just cuz i prefer guitar to paino i think, and that does not mean that i view get behind me satan as a bad album, far from it.nmow tot he point of this, could you please do a review of under blackpool lights, by thw white stripes, i know it's a dvd, but it truly is amazing, and their version of dolly parsons jolene is abosoloutely awesome, it really is. keep reviewin, this site rocks!

    Elizabeth/Sword strawberryholiday@hotmail.com
    I just want to say you're reviews are very fair and whoever bashes your opinion needs to take anger management and 'How To Open Up Your Mind' classes. Go Get Behind Me Satan! =D

    Gazza garyhess44@hotmail.com
    And the follow up is even better ... marimbas and pianos to the fore ? How often does a major act follow a sucessful formula with that ? Jacks piano playing reminds me of dylans on desire a lot too . "doorbell" is incredibly catchy , "forever for her" has a snaky marimba line for its melody and "little ghost" is an appalachian campfire knees up ." Blue orchid "and "instinct blues" are there for fans of the last album While "white moon" and "the nurse" are eerie and downbeat , the latter with bursts of noise intermittently appearing . Its clear the stripes have diversified their sound and moved on - maybe losing fans in the process. jack has all the talent in the world (even if he looks like zorro on the cover) and forming a new band with brendan benson seems like another way to keep us all guessing , lets hope its not the end for the stripes - i could handle a meg solo album though , her voice is sooo sweet !!!


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    Icky Thump ( 2007 )
    Icky Thump / You Don't Know What Love Is / 300mph Torrential Outpour Blues / Conquest / Bone Broke / Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn / St Andrew / Little Cream Soda / Rag And Bone / I'm Slowly Turning Into You / A Martyr For My Love For You / Catch Hell Blues / Effect And Cause

    A squelching squeal and ominous drums announce this back to basics 6th album from the Detroit duo. The title track has nestled in at number twenty six on Billboard, becoming their highest-charting single in the US to date. Post Raconteurs, we're all just glad The White Stripes still exist, because let's face it, compared to Raconteurs they truly are twice the band, with half the band-members and not just literally. The lead single and title track is a strange beast, far less commercial than a 'Seven Nation Army' or a 'My Doorbell'. The electronic squeal leads into Jack White singing about immigration before and after launching into yet another memorable riff, yet the song has plenty of stops and starts and unfriendly sounds. The White Stripes manage to fail to mellow, which is of course a fantastic thing. 'You Don't Know What Love Is' sounds far more like a single and also like one of the finest things the band have ever done. It's taking the Bacharach and David, it's taking glam rock and seventies heavy rock and processing it all in a blender. It sounds like a song that could be covered by Dolly Parton in obviously a completely different style to the Jack guitar and the Meg drums and still coming out smiling. Yeah, it's that good, proper songwriting indeed. The third song up reminds me both of Led Zeppelin and of Dylan circa 1965. Two great things to be reminded of, although neither influence anything new in White Stripes circles, of course. We don't need no innovation, we just need those primal drums and Jack White spraying everywhere with his guitar plugged in. Well, he also gets in some acoustic lines during '300 Mph Torrential Outpour Blues' and it contrasts well adding further depth to the composition.

    For those of you that like the even more raw and primal sound of the first couple of White Stripes albums, 'Bone Broke' has it in spades. You wanted Jack to get an Irish folk influence? The excellent 'Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn' has it down before merging into the Meg intoned 'St Andrew' which sounds like The Velvet Underground in a mash up with a bagpipe player. Yeah, those highland hills. 'Little Cream Soda' plugs us firmly back into the blues, 'Rag And Bone' has Jack and Meg goofing around whilst an addictive riff plays out behind them. Only the final three songs in fact pass by without providing a kind of highlight, everything else is such high quality. Had you ended the album with 'I'm Slowly Turning Into You' I could be calling this the best ever White Stripes album. As it is, a mere excellent one will certainly suffice.

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    Readers Comments

    Gazza garyhess44@hotmail.com
    3rd great album in a row ? You betcha ! I love how this band join the dots between led zep the stooges and the cramps , i also love how this band can just be totally unpretentious and raw. Everything we love about this band is here amped right up , the stomping screech of the title track , the sprawling "300mph blues" , the dylanesque melody of "you dont know what love is " not to mention the vicious riffing of "rag and bone" (which proves the stripes have heard the chicago blues of hound dog taylor in their time!!) And of course the experiments are here too, "conquest" is a mariachi styled ballad given the stripes treatment , while "st andrews" and "prickly thorn" bring scottish folk into the mix with surprisingly good results .( the whites both claim scottish ancestry) It is not remotely irish adrian (they use bagpipes not uileaan pipes) .And Indeed both songs seems to hint at the highland clearances which may have brought their ancestors to america from scotland ! !! I dont think theres a particular drop in quality at the end either, even though "effect and cause" sounds a bit like honky tonk woman ! This is a great band , they try something different each record not to show off but just because they love music , and you can tell its music thats just born rather than laboured over . Genius at work magic results 9/10

    Lucas
    Excellent review and excellent album, but you should have at least mentioned "Effect & Cause", the last song of the album which is really beautiful and one of jack´s finest work.

    Joao Piloto
    I agree with most of your review, even though I think "Conquest" and "A Martyr For My Love For You" are amazing songs that you should have mentioned. "Conquest" is just a hell of a lof of fun, it's like watching someone you dislike getting kicked in the balls :p. And "A Martyr For My Love For You" is just beautifull, the lyrics, the melody, the overall feel of the song, it feels very real. All of the other songs are also great, there really isn't a bad or even average song, they all range from good to great. 9.5/10


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    this page last updated 28/11/07


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