on 12 January 2002
Extraordinarily rarely, I enjoyed this album on the first listen. It's hard not to when you're strummed into an opener like You're Pretty Good Looking (For A Girl) and smashed into the second track Hello Operator. Apple Blossom is one of the most tender, meaningful songs I've ever heard; I'm Bound To Pack It Up tells of a yearning frustration of dead-end feelings; and Truth Doesn't Make A Noise has recently sunk into my head as being achingly brilliant. Death Letter is ace as is the Blind Willie McTell cover Your Southern Can Is Mine, where drummer Meg sings with Jack during the chorus. Why Can't You Be Nicer To Me?, Jumble Jumble and all the rest are top, but those are just the ones I've decided to name.
If you like the more stripped-down, bluesy side of The White Stripes, De Stijl is the one to go for first. If you like the raw punk, go for the self-titled LP. White Blood Cells is a rockier mixture of the two, and the one I'd recommend most people to start out on. In fact, I'd buy them as I did, in reverse order of release dates. I think that aids a full appreciation of just how ace this band are.
on 14 December 2002
Most probably your looking at De Stijl because you have listened to White Blood Cells to death and you can't wait for the new album to come about, and because of all the hype around them you thought you might check out their back catalogue. Fair play, but don't just take De Stilj as an album to fill the time gap. This is an awesome album that shouldn't just be treated as a quick history lesson to the band. It should be treated as a lesson in dirty filthy garage rock at its finest.
The album is more raw and edgy than W.B.C and when listening you feel a certain air of intimacy with it. Each track is so personal and performed with so much soul that you almost feel rude for listening, as if you were spying on the man's diary.
I don't feel I have to go through the album track by track to explain why you should buy this album. All I can say is if you’re a music fan then you should give this album a listen, and if you're a White Stripes fan then in the words on Donnie Brasco 'Forget about it'
If you're considering this album having bought White Blood Cells, thinking 'Could it possibly be as good?', then read on. The news is positive.
The cover suggests a band looking to extend their artistic depth into new fields and the music does not dissapoint.
It kicks off with the quite magnificent 'You're pretty Good Looking For A Girl' and doesn't let go from then on. The songs are so good you almost will them to invest in a different in a new production team, as the mix sometimes muddies the quality of the songs.
In some ways it is difficult to qualify exactly how good The White Stripes are without seeing their live show, but this record will take you somewhere close. It is literally impossible to pick out a standout track, because it flows effortlessly from one to another. However, if you've seen them live before, then 'Hello Operator', 'Apple Blossom' and 'Jumble, Jumble' will be familiar.
The White Stripes are one of the greatest bands of our time. All their albums are special, but this, arguably is the best of a brilliant bunch.
on 16 August 2005
De Stijl is the fifth White Stripes album I've bought in recent months and I'm embarassed to think that it has been floating around since 2001 without me owning a copy - it is a great album. I had an 800 mile round trip to do a couple of days after buying it and despite having several CDs to listen to I just played this one again and again. Jack's slide blues playing in Death Letter is just fantastic and Let's Build A Home is 90 seconds of pure energy pick-me-up. This album has such a wonderful varied collection of tracks and yet every one is a peach - no duffers. If you have a thing about the blues, play the guitar and are thoroughly unimpressed with most modern bands you will get a huge kick out of De Stijl. I love, love, love this album it's what music is all about, great songs, great music.
on 22 August 2006
'Even if the goal of ahieving beauty from simplicity is aesthetically less exciting, it may force the mind to acknowledge the simple components which make the complicated beautiful.'
That's written in the little cover booklet thing.
This album is simple, and beautiful.
The opening track, 'You're Pretty Good Looking (For A Girl)', is short, simple, catchy, and more or less instantly cheers me up when I'm feeling a bit crap.
'Hello Operator' has a classic choppy guitar riff thing going on and interesting lyrics (Sung brilliantly). Every now and then the music cuts out, and all you hear is some overly-simplistic percussion from Meg - then, at the perfect moment, the guitar comes back in. It's one of those bits that just strikes me as being brilliant whenever I hear it.
'I'm Bound To Pack It Up' - Beautiful. I won't try to describe it any other way, for fear of failing and not expressing how excellent this tune is.
'Sister, Do You Know My Name?' does a great job capturing the feel of the situation being described.
'Jumble, Jumble' is simple, raw, and brilliant. I'm aware I'm not great at describing these in depth; That's 'cause it's hard to convey the sound in words here...
Anyway, I can't say something about all of them, because on most of them I'd be struggling for words again and would have to settle for just 'Brilliant', 'Excellent', 'Fantastic' and so on.
If you're new to the White Stripes, I dunno if this'd be a good first album to get - I'd go with Elephant, I think. But if you've heard some stuff by them and you know you're into them, this album won't dissapoint.
There's a kind of subtle beauty to it.
on 11 December 2001
If you bought "White Blood Cells" and loved it, or if you're simply curious about all the hype that has been surrounding this Detroit Duo since Summer 2001, then order this album. "De Stigl", the second Stripes album, is brimful of classic guitar and drums driven rock n roll. Did I mention dirty blues, perfect pop melodies, intelligent lyrics and rhythm stripped down to the bare essentials? Think... the ghost of some old 30's blues legend crossed with the breezy lyricism of the Kinks and rammed through the speakers of The Stooges, and you're still only half way there. The other 50% is the White Stripes originality. This album is raw and basic yet melodic and beautiful. Half the tracks on here have the potential of being perfect pop records, like Phil Spector, Motown, Beach Boys, The Buzzcocks! The songs that you just want to play again and again and again. Yet the sound is so fresh, urgent, clean. The White Stripes are not chewing up the past and spitting it out but tasting it, digesting the juices and adding their own unique flavour. The songs are all their own and this album is a modern classic. You need it.
on 4 July 2001
The simplicity of sound on this record is a great relief, if not a reaction against a trend to cram as many sounds and samples on a record as you can. It is the songwriting that echoes it's simplicity with a brutal elegance that rips through your speakers like a rock n' roll wirlwind. The opening "your pretty good looking (for a girl)" is a great opener with mod/beat influences. The second track sold it to me in the shop with a fantistic riff and cocky one-liners that brought a grin to my face. The brother sister duo play only guitar and drums on the record, minimalising their sound but by no means a stark result. The warm southern slide guitar by Jack White (brother) flow melodically through the album, with short stories accompanying it. My favourite tracks "Truth doesn't make a noise", "death letter", "hello operator" and "Your southern can is mine" slip through straight ahead rock n' roll to melancholic frustration to mellow country. With bands like the strokes ready to conquer the world, these guy (and gal) are to cool to be massive. Maybe that's why no one has reviewed it yet, well the secret is out so there's no exuse not to check them out
on 28 December 2004
De Stijl has deservedly gained a reputation among Stripes fans for being their album that you claim to be your favourite just to show you're cool and in the know. Perhaps this is something to do with the fact that almost inevitably Stijl will feature heavily in any Stripes live set. It may not have the have the raw intensity of their self-titled album or the deliberate undergloss (if that's the right word) of Elephant but it is the album which defines them so brilliantly in terms of both their influences and attitude to music making. Key therefore are the covers of Son House and Blind Willie McTell (Tracks 6 and 13) which update both brilliantly while still not detracting from the original sentiment and style of the songs. The Sonics/Gories-esque "Jumble, Jumble" is useful in understanding the Stripes garage-rock roots, even though the words don't actually seem to be going anywhere! The album is full of little gems (if asked your favourite Stripes track ever always answer Apple Blossom, because nowhere else is the Stripes nostalgic-romantic message more concisely put, or something like that) that will keep you humming for weeks on end, right from hurt lyrics in "Sister.." to the riff in "Hello Operator". Enjoy!
It´s extremely difficult to pick between The White Stripe´s releases and although they all follow more or less the same formula they have this uncanny knack of being slightly different every time and equally brilliant. For me, this just about pips all the rest.
De Stijjl was the first record of there´s I bought mainly because of the album cover, there aren´t many groups that are influenced by design movements.
From the infectious,"You´re pretty good looking(for a girl,)" to the banging neurotic sounding,"Hello Operator," it´s business as usual as Jack and Meg give rock music a well deserved kick up the backside. Jack´s guitar playing really sets the pulse racing at times. The cruching rangy riff on,"litlle bird," is my favourite moment on the record. He´s a really indisriminate guitarist, constantly going off at different angles, it somehow makes the guitar fit into the song.
"I´m bound to pack it up," shows the amazing inventiveness of this band, it sounds folk influenced.
"Sister do you know my name?" is a pretty conventional track for The White Stripes, but things swing off at a tangent again with,"A boys best friend," and the wonderful implusive,"Jumble Jumble."
Their songwriting is constantly entertaining and I must admit that I rarely listen to the words of their songs, I´m too busy being enthralled by the music.
on 8 April 2005
When I first got this album I wasn't sure, the cover is not what you'd expect and the songs don't really sound very good on the first listen unlike the songs on the White Blood cells, but unlike that album which starts to wear thin very soon this one really grows on you. Just don't listen to it once then leave it at the bottom of your CD collection, and don't buy it with any other albums as it deserves to be listened to on its own.
The best tracks for me were: Hello operator, Little bird and I'm bound to pack it up.
A must for any music fan with no "fillers" except for the last track which is like all the other last tracks at the end of their other albums (you'll see.)