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4.6 out of 5 stars65
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 21 December 2004
Hotel Yorba was the song that got me into the White Stripes, a short but still very catchy song. I got the album after hearing Dead Leaves and The Dirty Ground. This album offers much in the way of diversity and showcases the true, pure musical talent that the duo, holds. Opening with the anthemic Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground, an excellent song with loud guitar riffs but still sung in a somewhat sensitive voice by Jack White. The album also includes the unique Fell In Love With A Girl, which is as catchy as it is fast. However all is beaten by the wonderful We're Going To Be Friends. This song stuck in my mind on the first listen. It shows a more sensitive side to the Stripes aside from all the loud thrashier songs and its a sensitive side that I like in the band. The song gives me some great memories of when I first met a girl that I like. The verdict; an excellent album from opener to ending, a great range of styles, inspirational and musically brilliant. Safe to say this album is brilliant in more ways than one.
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on 3 October 2001
When I first listened to this album I was instantly struck by something. It was good. It doesn't flow like a well produced, big star CD and this is one its resounding qualities. Every track has something new to offer and pulls on different musical genre. "We're going to friends" is a fantastic track and for me had a Nick Drake feel about it, sweet and poetic. Then at the other end of the scale you have "I think I smell a rat" which has extravagant guitar and vocals which will make you sit up and listen. All in all this is 16 tracks of pure raw pleasure from two talented people in Tennessee. Listen to it, let it grow on you and you won't listen to anything else for weeks.
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on 22 July 2002
This album is the best advance in rock music I have heard yet. They have combined mellow tracks such as "We're Going to be Friends" with great rock in "Expecting" added to a bit of their own bizarre taste with "Little Room". They have taken rock back to its basics and it has worked; this is the best album of the year and must be bought by everyone.
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Having read the review on this album I was outraged some thoughtless person had given this a single star.
The White Stripes i'd never heard of them until Seven Nation Army and then a relative lent me White Blood Cells and I was blown away i'd never heard such intensity from a band let alone one with only two people, from the very first track I was completely hooked.
The amount of imagination that goes into their albums is fantastic matched only by the immortal Jimi Hendrix, yes i'd go as far as to compare them to Hendrix, on hearing this album I straightaway ordered as many albums as I could afford and I wasn't dissapointed.
In a world of mundane pop and R and B this is as good as it gets and as good as it will ever get, simply fantastic.
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on 7 December 2001
This generally seems to take approximately two listenings-to, and then...well, if you have more than one CD drive (or something) in your CD player, it won't come out. Hopefully. Songs like Hotel Yorba and Fell In Love with a girl will hit you instantly, and so it's probably best to listen to those first, just to get accustomed to how the album's going to sound. We're Going To Be Friends is like The Moldy Peaches, but sounds more sincere and quite lovely, really. And there are the somewhat caustic, biting songs like I Think I Smell A Rat, where you'd really hate to be perceived as "one of those little kids (who) think you just know where it's at". Problems with society's perceptions and those within relationships are highlighted with I'm Finding It Harder To Be A Gentleman and The Same Boy You've Always Known. There's not a bad song on this album, they're brilliant live (Jack sings just as you think he would! Yeah!)->buy it! Go on!
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on 14 September 2001
I heard Johm Peel once decribe the White Stripes as "the most interesting sound since punk", and this album certainly dosnt dissapoint. Between the two of them, Mary and Jack White have created a sound and a tempo that is almost unique to themselves, thanks largely to Jack's fantastic voice which alternates between a spitting passion, gravelly kittykat growl and breaking country twang (and sometimes all three at once!).
Although it cannot quite maintain its momentum over the last few tracks, the first 12 contain everything you could possibly wish for, from the anti-capitalist anger of "The Union Forever", to feelgood tracks like "Hotel Yorba" and "Fell In Love With a Girl", the gentle whistfulness of "Going to be Friends" (which would not have been out of place on a Kingsbury Manx album) and the unashamed rock theatre of "Smell a Rat".
Above all this album is simply one of the most enjoyable and satisfying i have ever heard. If you have ever liked any song with drums, guitar and vocals in it then there will be something on this album you will enjoy.
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on 11 April 2002
This is a top album - get through the hype and you will find an incredibly varied, caustic album - it contains in the main an amazing mixture of screaming blues, 3 chord punk and deep soul - and it even includes a heart achingly sweet nursery ryhme that brings back everything good about childhood.
Oh, and the lyrics are the best I've heard in a long time!
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on 31 July 2001
The White Stripes are what is missing from music today, creativity. While most bands decide to put out what the bosses think they should put out, The White Stripes do it how they want it to be done. You won't find 40 second singalongs and childlike folk music on many albums this year, but you will on this. Their third album and they are yet to go any further than guitar, drums and piano. Which is always a brilliant thing.
This album was not meant to be sat around in a studio and tinkered with , it was meant to be heard. This brother and sister duo should be proud that they may be the only ones this year to come close to the brilliance of Is This It.
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on 28 February 2002
How do I delineate this album? I'm not exactly sure. Perhaps, Led Zepplin amalgamated with The Ramones, mix in some blues and country, and then, once you've commingled these constituents, add in a generous dollop of agrestic, roughshod and rawness.
The album still sounds, to my mind, unrefined (which says something about their previous two efforts). It's garage rock. In fact, its rock distilled down to its basic elements and delivered without the gimcrackery. Meg White is on drums, with Jack White providing vocals and guitar. On that note, Jack has a great voice. It is "distinctive"; harsh, screeching at times, but with a wonderful melodic pliancy (just when you feel it's going to skriegh off into dissonance, he reels it back into his own patented unwieldy version of "in tune", and it really "works"). On track 6 this is demonstrated befittingly, with Jack's vocalizations paired only with percussion, for a gratifying "bare bones" effect. He is talented, but in the sense that a bare-knuckle fighter is "talented".
There's a welcoming diversity to the songs. Some more harmonious, a couple featuring an organ and piano for good measure, and some more "venomous" and vitriolic.
Overall, I like this album. Unquestionably better than the previous two, which could have been astronomical had they just had the edges "smoothed over" a shade. There's "unrefined" and there's "unrefined, been recorded on a tape-recorder in your parent's basement, unrefined". In actuality, in terms of musical maturation and melodies, I preferred BOTH the earlier two, but when it boils down to it they were plainly "not finished".
This album is exceptional if you enjoy your rock'n'roll unadulterated and have not been entirely corrupted by the set-piece excuse for "rock" that is being churned out so oftentimes today.
Buy it.
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on 17 February 2003
I'd not heard the White Stripes before buying this album on the recommendation of a friend, except on a couple of live TV shows, where their sound levels were set up terribly so you couldn't hear any vocals and far too much drums. I thought they were pants, basically.
Then I listened to "Hotel Yorba" and haven't been able to get the bloody thing out of my head for weeks. This is an album charged with energy and passion; each song is loaded with either deep emotion or just raw love of what they're doing. The songs range from the gentle ballad of "The Same Boy You've Always Known" to the energetically throbbing "I Think I Smell A Rat". And - what a bonus on the music scene as it stands today - the Stripes' lyrics actually have some thought and truth behind them; a novelty rather than the norm these days, sadly. As I've already said, "Hotel Yorba" is disturbingly catchy... but then so are almost all the other songs on this album, particularly the introductory "Dead Leaves on the Dirty Ground" and "Fell In Love With a Girl".
And all this musical quality, which really does advance the rock 'n' roll genre, with 3 instruments in total. A guitar, a drumkit and a keyboard. Produced on the ragged edge - they do their thing, and that's that; quite often you can hear the odd word or "Can you get me the-..." in the background recorded in the track itself, before the song has even finished. "Little Room" only has drums and Jack's vocals, yet it's one of the highlights of the album, lasting all of a minute and a half. It says a lot about the quality of this album that it's so thoroughly engrossing and engaging with such slipshod production values and often tragically short songs - in total it's only about 40 minutes long. In fact, my one complaint about this rough and ready piece of musical excellence is that it's too damned short! If it wasn't for the invention of the "Repeat All" button this would be much more of a concern... as it is, you can leave this disc on repeat for as long as possible; believe me, it's worth every minute.
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