37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2002
Anyone who thinks The Strokes are the future of guitar music think again. I first heard about this band on holiday last August when everyone was being told they were a brother/sister combo. They're not of course, but it doesn't matter what relation they are - this is most stunningly adrenaline-filled band in a long long time. Combine Hendrix-esque solos, Clapton's blues and a voice at times like a cat being dragged through a lawnmower(but in a beautiful way). Add some 'Stones and Dylan covers, bump up the tempo 1000% and you've got this stunning debut album. From the opening "Jimmy..." thru "Breaking Down" and "The Big Three..." its clear this album is very special indeed. It has its mellower moments - "Do" and the Dylan cover "One more cup of coffee" being notable, but for me this revolves around tracks like "Broken bricks" and the sensational "Screwdriver". The closest anyone I've heard get to Hendrix, but, I hope, with enough mass-appeal to make them popular today. Even better than White Blood Cells, I hope this doesn't suffer for preceding it, cos it's simply fantastic. Words can't come close to doing this album justice - you must buy it NOW!!!
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
I was recommended the White Stripes by a friend who just said 'listen to this and be prepared to be blown away' I did and I was !
This is music that you feel and is a million miles away from the majority of the smooth, over engineered product available today. Yes, they do owe a debt to Blues artists like Robert Johnson (I defy anyone not to like 'Stop breaking down' and to Led Zeppelin for the vocal style). But having said that this is music with passion, more concerned with a feeling than how it sounds on a hi-fi. There is a version of 'one more cup of coffee' on this album and it is great to compare that to the version on Robert Plants 'Dreamland' album - this version could have been recorded on the coffee shop! Robert Plant is a lot smoother these days...
I recommend this album to anyone to wants to listen to music that demands your attention rather than music that is just background noise (Sade fans will not like this album).
So get a copy, turn up the hi-fi and let this album grab you.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 21 August 2004
Debuts don't get much better than this. It's impossible to describe the power these two siblings from detroit have, and even the ones who don't like the White Stripes have to admit that they make a hell of a noise for two people. Admittedly, Meg is not the best drummer in the world, but fans will know that this was the desired sound that Jack chose, and any lack in drumming ability is replaced by a great ability in guitar playing and songwriting on Jacks part. It's hard to recomend a particular song from this album, they all deserve credit. Favorites for me include the opening song 'Jimmy the exploader' for its simplicity and hell raising amplitude, 'The big three killed my baby' for similar reasons, and 'St. James infirmary blues' which has to be heard to be truely appreciated. Another favorite is 'When I hear my name', the riff seems to lodge itself in your head, and you will find yourself humming it for days. Credit must also be given to their cover of Bob Dylans 'One more cup of coffee'. On every track Jacks unique voice soars over his raw guitar riffs, whilst Meg beats anthemically. It's true that Jack has one of the best voices in rock, yet he doesnt seem to realise. After listening to this album I am kicking myself for not realising this band sooner. It is easily their best album simply because it is their first. It is totally unblemished from the world of comercialisation and pop critics that nit pick every technical detail. It is raw and powerfull rock music at its best. In one word: Awesome.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2004
I got into this album along with their second album 'De Stijl' after their majorly hyped third album 'White Blood Cells.' It is in my opinion their best album above even Elephant. It is fantastically raw, bluesy and rocks like hell!
The opening three tracks of 'Jimmy The Exploder', a cover of 'Stop Breaking Down' and 'The Big Three Killed My Baby' are a superb and relentless opening to the album and need to be played at maximum volume whilst some of the riffs that Jack White conjeurs up on tracks such as 'Cannon' and 'Astro' are out of this world. 'When I Hear My Name' is another track in which you are left scratching your head over how Jack White can possibly switch between guitar sounds and make such a racket with only one guitar.
I personally couldn't understand the comparison that was being made in the press between the White Stripes and Led Zeppelin, however, after hearing this and 'De Stijl' the similarity in some of their tracks is more apparent which shows just how good a guitarist Jack White is.
As well as the big riffs there are also more subtle tracks such as their hauting cover of 'One More Cup of Coffee' and 'St.James Infirmary Blues' which are also superb and show Jack White to also be great vocalist.
Overall, if you are unsure or know of anyone else that is is unsure if they like the White Stripes after hearing their more recent commercial albums of 'White Blood Cells' and 'Elephant' then you should give this album a listen first before you dismiss them as it is amongst their best and most uncompromising work. Shame they don't play more of it live though!
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 1 May 2002
All Hail The White Stripes!
Just as I was starting to lose faith in music, beginning to think that originality was dead and buried, I finally discover the White stripes. One guitar, one drum kit. That's it. The bare bones of music. De Stjil is widely regarded as The White Stripes finest hour, but I have always had a preference for this album. It has a more rough and ready feel to it, the rythyms just a little more brutal, it rocks just a little bit more.
The only weak track on the entire album is "the big three killed my baby" which I'm not overly keen on, but other than that, this is faultless music. I have run out of superlatives to lay upon the duo, The White Stripes are surley the saviours of real rock 'n' roll.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 8 September 2004
Although "Elephant" is the widely acclaimed, massive-selling album and "White Blood Cells" was their first flirt with the mainstream, "White Stripes" is a beautifully crafted debut.
The White Stripes' are now in the elite of rock and roll but I would suggest very few people own this classic. Reading an interview by them in which they called this album their favourite, I thought it right to post a review.
If you have only justattuned to this great duo, then go and buy this album. As far as debuts go, it doesn't get much better. It has all the creativity of "Elephant" but in a grimier, dirtier and evidently lower-budget way.
The White Stripes can only be perfectly respected by listening to all 4 albums. "Elephant" is genius and owned by millions. "White Blood Cells" brought is "Fell In Love With A Girl" and I would suggets is owned by many. "De Stijl" is probably the most under-rated work in rock and roll history and should be purchased by everyone for great tracks like "Apple Blossom" and "Little Bird". But "White Stripes" is the beginning of the phenomenal band we know now. Songs like "Suzy Lee", "Sugar Never Tasted So Good" and "Astro" lay the foundations for their emphatic rise to the elite of music...
All in all, this must be bought.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2009
I didn't buy my "stripes" albums in order. I started with Icky Thump and worked roughly backwards. Often when doing this it is so much harder to appreciate the first album or two, as more recent work tends to have more talent in it. But not in the case of the first White Stripes album, "The White Stripes". The punk tinted garage rock sound is strong from the off, with heavy, fuzzy guitar and simplistic drums, held by Jack White's strong and wailing vocals.
The covers on this album are incredible- "Cannon" is a rewritten gospel song, and "St.James Infirmary Blues" known as the first recorded blues track, both fit snugly into the rest of the set, performed in Jack and Meg's unique style, you see a different face on the original southern American sounds.
For any Stripes fan this is a must, but also any contemporary blues fan, this album is worth a look at. Well worth the price paid for it as well.
Back in 2002, the whole world suddenly discovered Detroit-based duo The White Stripes, after the release of "White Blood Cells" and they quickly became the new hot band of the year. Of course, being part of the world (even though I try hard not to be), I also discovered them at the same time and they quickly became one of my favourite new bands at the time and, once I'd played "White Blood Cells" to death, I excitedly bought their previous two albums. When I first played this, their self-titled début album, I was almost put off by its raw, brash, uncompromising nature. In fact, I think the first time I played it, I ended up with a bit of a headache afterwards and so it got filed away and seldom played after that, whilst other White Stripes albums continued to grace my CD player regularly. In fact, today, when I saw that this was the next album to be listened to, I wasn't particularly looking forward to it.
It was a huge, pleasant surprise to find that I thoroughly enjoyed playing it today and found it to be so much better than I remembered it to be. I'll be completely honest; I haven't listened to this album for around ten years and was expecting to be writing something vaguely negative about it right now, but I actually think it's a rather awesome album and wonder why I didn't realise it first time around. Yes, it's rough around the edges and Jack and Meg White went on to write and release better material, but the unpolished talent of the duo (especially Jack) is blatantly obvious. Their sound of vocals, guitar and drums (and very little else - I think there may be a bell on one track) makes for a refreshingly simple and honest sound. The album was dedicated to Son House, a Delta blues musician, so their influences and intentions were laid down for all to see.
My favourite tracks on their eponymous début include the relentless "Stop Breaking Down", the emotive "Wasting My Time" and the relatively laid back (for this album) "Do". "Screwdriver" boasts a fantastic riff and it also gets a tiny bit mental at the end, which is excellent, . I also particularly enjoyed the Dylan cover, "One More Cup Of Coffee" and the old jazz/blues standard "St James Infirmary Blues" is quite decent as well, although I may lose slight cool points by saying that Hugh Laurie did a much better version recently. The rest of the album is also pretty good, filled with strong riffs, loud, pounding drums and White's half-strangled, yelping vocals. The only song that still annoys me is "Astro", but I can still get through it without feeling the need to skip. As I said before, the best was yet to come from Jack and Meg, but "The White Stripes" is an altogether strong start to Jack's remarkable musical career and is an exciting piece of work that stands on its own merits, regardless of the fact that it gave me a headache a decade ago.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 4 December 2001
What an album! With Jack Whites unique guitar style and his sister meg's simple but effective drum riffs, the White Stripes have put together what is in my oppinion one of the best albums for a number of years. Jack White has the ability to almost make his guitar talk. As if it was almost the third member of the band. The lyrics and guirar riffs on this LP are truely inspired.
I would recomend any Rock, Blues or Punk enthusiast get this album sharpish, when you listen to it's fusion of hard rocking blues and psychadelia I am sure you will agree with me.
on 19 February 2015
I just got into this great band (can a duo still be..?) and this is the last album I bought by them. Perhaps not their most accessible (I'm sure most would say that is Elephant) and perhaps I should give this just 3/5 as I've only played it twice and it's not yet grabbed me as much as the others? Nahh - I know it will and will you too, if you already know of them. Actually, I bought a vinyl copy of De Stijl some years ago because I liked the look of it in that format - it was about the same price as the CD and I've always had a large collection of vinyl anyway... I'd heard a couple of their albums when they had not long been released and decided I'd like that in my collection; found myself playing it very often as I like the rawness and blusey, sometimes noisy edge of the music - and a little wackiness thrown in here and there for good measure too.
So now my 'studio' WS collection is complete (only 6 albums of course) it's onto live recordings next. Maybe I've given some idea of what to expect from this - but how do you describe any type of music unless you're fairly familiar with something similar in that style or genre in the first place? It's likely you'll know a few tracks (anyone out there who wouldn't know the riff to Seven Nation Army - even if you don't know what it's called? Nope.) So you usually (but not always) have an idea what to expect from these guys, but the quirkiness makes it all the more fun to me too.