- White Stripes Interview: Meg White interviews her brother Jack for Amazon.co.uk. Read it now.
The music is mainly some sort of blues derived rock; gentle some of the time and very loud and explosive most of the time. There's a great cover of Bacharach's "I Dont Know What to Do With Myself", moments of intense punk rock ("Hypnotise") and a comedy ballad at the end. You're not going to get bored.
The album was recorded in East London and Jack White's holding a cricket bat on the cover, so maybe it's not surprising that a lot of the album sounds very English. The heavy riffs here are just so early Led Zeppelin. Quite often Jim even sings like an English person pretending to be an America, and on "In The Cold, Cold Night" Meg speaks and (unlike her drumming) comes across all fay and, well, sort of pre-Raphaelite in a down-town motor city kind of way.
And it's all so divinely confident, so f**k off sexy. In that sense it is better than the first three albums (which weren't exactly meek). Whatever they say in public I think this is a band which loves been loved, almost as much as they love making music - and they like that quite a lot.
At the centre of the music's drama lies the relationship between Jack and Meg, Jack likes to strut and shout and shout, proclaiming that he is the seventh son, but he's dancing to the ladies beat. (Quite literally). If it's true that the pair used to go out together, rather than be brother and sister, as they once claimed, splitting up has never sounded so good.
What else can I say in their favour?...They don't take drugs and they don't do yoga, they even seem to like themselves for what they are. Strange, camp blues-rock might just be able to save the world; all we need to do is believe. --Matt Harvey
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That's no exageration either, as this album just exudes a sound that is sadly being left in the past. There are not multiple takes to get the playing perfect either; all the little imperfections in the playing and singing are left in, so it doesn't have the cold feel that most music has now.
The song are great too, starting with "Seven Nation Army", with a catchy bass line that gets the groove going, and then they just keep coming. Meg duets on "I Just Don't Know What to do With Myself", which wrenches the emotion from the words. "Ball and Biscuit" is my favourite - a kind of 21 century blues that Led Zep would be proud of.
The only thing that puzzles me about this album is why there is a picture of Meg's feet on the inside of the cover...
Elephant IS quite simply one of the finest records you will hear this year. As if Jack's heart was actually plugged into the amp it will take on a roller coaster journey that will leave you exhausted at the end. We are taken back to the rawer guitar sound of De Stijl and with a number of tracks like Ball & Biscuit, Black Math and Girl You Have No Faith In Medicine rocking some amazing guitar work you can see that Jack is really having some fun on this record. The Stripes seem to be enjoying their new found fame rather than resenting it and with Elephant you can see how it's paid off. It is such an accomplished album that will be throttling your stereo all summer.
Elephant proves beyond any doubt that The White Stripes are in a league of their own. All the hype and all the praise wouldn't be enough to describe how important this band are to music. God bless the drums, god bless the guitar, god bless The White Stripes.
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