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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damn fine album!
The White Stripes are a duo who record all their material on old analog recording equipment and refuse to embrace the digital revolution. The result? An album that sounds warmer and more real than just about anything that has been around in years!
That's no exageration either, as this album just exudes a sound that is sadly being left in the past. There are not...
Published on 25 Feb 2004 by michael_m

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Hype, hype, hype!
I was given this by a friend to listen to - he can have it back! The album is typified by 'Seven Nation Army' which is just a dull as ditch water 'duh, du du du duh, duh' bass line overlaid with awful 'demonic elf' vocals by Jack White and a drum beat which is competent but never alters (no improv here). The album is chock full of regulation pub rock band songs with...
Published 9 days ago by Mark Haynes


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damn fine album!, 25 Feb 2004
This review is from: Elephant (Audio CD)
The White Stripes are a duo who record all their material on old analog recording equipment and refuse to embrace the digital revolution. The result? An album that sounds warmer and more real than just about anything that has been around in years!
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...
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars breathtaking, 13 April 2003
This review is from: Elephant (Audio CD)
After three albums you wonder exactly what a guitarist and a drummer can do to keep things moving forward whilst maintaining the brilliance of previous efforts. The fact that creatively they have moved forward and musically they have exceeded any hopes I had of their forth album just shows how special The White Stripes really are.
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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars most exciting album in years, 16 Feb 2004
This review is from: Elephant (Audio CD)
i had heard a couple of songs off white blood cells but i never went any further. when i heard seven nation army i knew i had to buy elephant, and what a purchase. the most exciting album i have heard since nirvana's in utero. "little acorns" is for me the best track. jacks guitar hits you right in the chest and shows how rock and roll still has a few tricks up its sleeve.in contrast "you've got her in your pocket" is a beautiful little number and along with "hypnotize" are the other stand out tracks.i dont know how many times i have kicked myself for ignoring these guys for so long but believe the hype for a change and buy their music, become excited and passionate about music again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Black and White Stripes, 3 Mar 2006
By 
Mr. J. L. Boutcher "jlb55555" (Suffolk England UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Elephant [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Looking at the group's back catalogue, (so much so quickly !), there's been no difficulty finding wildly varying songs, tunes and themes. Elephant has a similar wide range and most of it is effortlessly good. Reviewers of the CD version are confused on what they want from the White Stripes: Live with it, I say - for this quality. Yes I did love the first and last sides of four most of all, with a bit too much "quietly reflective" for me near the middle, when the writing quality waned perhaps?. Seven Nation Army, The Hardest Button and Hypnotize will all one day be considered classics; I think they are already.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant and exciting album, 25 May 2007
By 
Greg Farefield-Rose (Hertfordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Elephant (Audio CD)
How far can you develop your sound with just electric guitar and drums. Quite a way though surely the point comes when your increasing creativity and musicality demands the introduction of further instruments. On Elephant, the White Stripes' Jack White also plays piano, organ, acoustic guitar and bass though thankfully in a very sparing way to enhance the songs. The raw White Stripes sound is still there on this brilliant and exciting album.

Like one of his clear influences Kurt Cobain, Jack knows about dynamics and how to arrange a song featuring just a few parts to maximise it impact. He also share Cobain's gift for a good melody with virtually every song containing something particularly memorable to make the listener want to play it again and again. For example, piano ballad I Want To Be The Boy To Warm Your Mother's Heart contains a glorious warms slide guitar solo whilst Hypnotize has an excellent bowed guitar effect followed by an exciting drum-beat.

Ah the drums! Although Jack is clearly the main musical talent in the White Stripes, Meg White's drumming should not be overlooked. Meg's primal playing may be described by some as rudimentary yet it is highly effective in bringing real tension to the White Stripes sound. Her style is similar to the Velvet Underground's Maureen Tucker with the art-rock of the VU another influence on the Stripes in general - particularly in the spoken intro. to the bizarre Little Acorns.

Further highlights of Elephant include the tracks most casual listeners are likely to know - the fantastic singles Seven Nation Army and The Hardest Button To Button as well as the band's thrilling take of Bacharach and David's I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself. Further highpoints include the incredible loud guitar solos on the lengthy Ball & Biscuit and catchy organ work on The Air Near My Fingers.

At the time of Elephant's release, I believe that there was still a lot of intrigue about the nature of Jack and Meg's relationship, a ruse cleverly exploited by the duo and their people for their own publicity. They play with these rumours further on the closing cod-country track, Well It's True That We Love One Another, which also features guest vocalist Holly Golightly. As it happens, the truth was stranger than fiction when it was finally revealed that Jack and Meg were not a current couple nor brother and sister but an ex-married couple! Quite bizarre...

A bizarre and very individual band perhaps but certainly an excellent one. Elephant is the best new music I've heard for a good while with the White Stripes broadening their musical palette without sacrificing their sound. A thrilling and fantastic punky blues ride.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Their best so far..., 15 May 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Elephant (Audio CD)
So, suddenly, with “Elephant” The White Stripes finally have to tackle the weight of expectation.
The release of this record is, perhaps for the first time, A Very Big Deal. This is no minor, low key indie release - every fashion/lifestyle/music magazine, website, radio show, newspaper and TV programme that thinks it matters has an opinion they want to share about the band and this record.
John Peel sessions, releasing “De Stijl” on an obscure American label, their first small live review in the NME – it all seems a long time ago now; and whilst the interest in them has grown, The Stripes, as you would perhaps expect, haven’t. The premise, if you want to call it that, remains the same. A boy plays guitar and sings whilst his ex-wife/sister/whatever plays the drums. They still wear red and white and shun glossy production.
There’s something incredibly satisfying with “Elephant”, in that the band have stayed more or less rooted to the spot. Rather than grow into something to please journalists they’ve done exactly the same thing once again, only much, much better. Most bands, as we know, who stick to a particular ‘template’ will eventually get criticised for it, but in this instance – when the music is so dramatic, so melodic and so exciting - it honestly doesn’t matter.
“Seven Nation Army” is a blunt, but extremely cool opening, with an exceptional, but simplistic, ‘bass-line-but-wait-it’s-not’ riff. You’ve barely had time to start nodding in admiration before “Black Math” (with a rowdy see-saw riff and crashing drums) and “There Is No Room For You Here” (glam, wailing multi-track vocals) arrive. Both are so brash and vitriolic it’s beautiful (top marks incidentally for “Black Math”, which brilliantly veers off on a mad tangent mid way only to return again).
The pace then slows, but significantly does not slacken, with the records gentler moments, namely: “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself”, “In The Cold Cold Night” (go Meg!), “I Want To Be The Boy…” and “You’ve Got Her In Your Pocket”. It’s a sweet run of songs, all considerably more introspective than the record’s introduction, and all are of amazing quality.
The 7 minute monster “Ball & Biscuit” then arrives and cuts this particular mood dead in its tracks, and signals the arrival of the records rowdy final third – “Hardest Button To Button” is an amazing stomper, and the remaining songs fly past with aggression and zeal. Fantastic. Finally, the cute “Well It’s True…” is a simplistic, goofy, kiss off.
It’s a wonderfully diverse record. Or, to put it more simply – amazing sound, amazing songs, amazing band.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The band to beat!, 18 April 2003
This review is from: Elephant (Audio CD)
One would wonder how long the Jack White and Meg White "are they really brother and sister" scenario could go on. But, with the music they are making, who even really cares?
Judging from the Stripes' two previous records, "White Blood Cells" and "De Stjil", it is apparant that the bands playing has evolved. They have come a long way since just being "ANOTHER GARAGE ACT" days of when their debut arrived. But, be in no illusions, this is the White Stripes at their best.
If you are one of those people who has heard any of their previous three albums and wondering why all the fuss, this probably won't explain it to you. If you are expecting a radical change of style in musical direction you'll be disappointed. But, if you want more of the same but different, then you will adore this.
Still refusing to use the bass instrument in their sound, Elephant does have some bassy riffs. For example, Seven Nation Army has a bass riff right? Wrong. It's Jack playing guitar with some pedal and gear effects. Now while the concept of not using bass seems stupid it actually adds to the duos appeal.
Anyway, the songs all range from different things. You get the Led Zeppelin-ish tunes and you get the Queen-ish tunes. But, somehow and to the bands asset, they seem to be totally original songs. The last track on the album, "Well Its True That We Love One Another", is, oddly, a standout. It features Jack and Holly Golightly on vocals with a little of Meg added for flavour. It's a tongue-in-cheek number that with any other band you would have thought it terrible but, with the Stripes, it's amazing. That really sums up the album. I really dont need to explain all the songs to you. It's more of the same, but a lot better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best so far....., 5 April 2003
This review is from: Elephant (Audio CD)
.....although its still not perfect.
I had to give Elephant four stars because of the soul stirring genius of the first three tracks, Ball and Biscuit and The Air Near My Fingers. Furthermore, Seven Nation Army is an excellent choice for the lead single, and has convinced a certain Led Zep obsessed mate of The White Stripes value to society, which is an achievement in itself.
It is almost impossible to pick a stand out track from those five, but probably the most exciting moments of the album are when Jack makes his guitar sing like an angel on ball and biscuit.
However, owning the previous three records is a bit of a disadvantage, in that the riff on Black Math is Build a home from De Stilj, and the one on There's No Home for you Here is, as everyone says, Dead Leaves on the Dirty Ground.
Oh, and Meg can only just sing. She pulls it off on In the Cold Cold Night, but is pretty ropey on the final track. Which is not a brilliant track to start with.
Neither are the two "slow" tracks, 6 and 7. Sometimes the slow tracks work, like Little People and We're going to be friends, but these two don't really. Its hard to say why. Maybe if jack whites isn't being passionate, he's not very exciting?
But, all is forgiven. The good outway the bad, and in impressive fashion. When it works, it works so well that the occasional weak track is irrelevant.
Buy it. And the other records. Now.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars White Stripes create an instant classic, 15 May 2003
By 
Jeff Markham (Walton-on-Thames, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Elephant (Audio CD)
After resisting the hype but following with interest the rise of this uniquely talented duo, their 4th offering is simply breathtaking and fully deserves all the accolades. Often mentioned in the same breath as The Strokes due to the classic combo of good old fashioned guitars, drums and an admirably ironic 'attitude', The Stripes are by some way the superior band. This album is destined to be a classic. From the brilliant, pounding opener 'Seven Nation Army', with its floor-shuddering bassline, immediately followed by the thunderous rock riffing of the sinsisterly titled 'Black Math', to the deceptively sweet closer 'Well It's True That We Love One Another', with Meg and Jack joshing with Holly Golightly, this is incendiary rock music that delights, disturbs and moves in equal measure. 'Ball and Biscuit' swaggers with bluesy eroticism, whilst Jack's voice on the superb Bacharach cover 'I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself' and 'I Want To Be The Boy To Warm Your Mother's Heart' knocks spots off more vaunted crooners whilst retaining a winning self-mockery. The lyrics are smart and often poetically funny and speak of the perennial themes of love and loss with a nice line in ironic humour and deft observation. The highest compliment I can pay is that the energy, surprising humour and sheer unpredictability of the music evokes the early Pixies, especially that of 1988's 'Surfer Rosa' and 1989's 'Doolittle' LPs. The Stripes have a similar genius for mixing fast and slow numbers seamlessly whilst retaining an exhilerating momentum and originality all their own. If you like your guitars raw, your riffs fierce and your tunes catchy, this is the album for you. An unqualified masterpiece. Enjoy!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The American British Album, 19 Oct 2003
This review is from: Elephant (Audio CD)
White Blood Cells made The White Stripes big stars but the follow-up Elephant makes them global superstars, and one listen to it and it's difficult not to agree with NME and Kerrang. Since it's such a great album it's only fitting for a track by track analysis:
Seven Nation Army- lead off single and possibly the greatest tune to be released in 2003, the unlikely bassline and rolling percusion make it a classic 10/10
Black Math- this sounds like a robert plant/led zeppelin inspired tune,with Jack howling at the same tempo but it's still a great tune 8/10
There's No Room For You Here- this one doesn't quite catch my attention like the rest, it sounds too similar to dead leaves, so it's not too good 5/10
I Just Don't What To Do With Myself- cover of the burt bacharach anthem and one of the shortest songs, great video accompanied it as well. a knock out cry , sweet stuff 9/10
In The Cold, Cold Night- Meg's Debut on vocals on this acoustic driven tune about love,and surprisingly it's quite catchy but the vocals are best with her brother 7/10
I Want To Warm Your Mothers Heart- this is a somber sad little number about gaining the adulation of a partner's parent, not the best of songs, but still great 6/10
You've Got Her In Your Pocket - more somber songs, but this one is more uplifting making it more enjoyable than the previous one 7/10
Ball and Biscuit- a brilliant track, a long track, great solos, enough said 10/10
The Hardest Button To Button- current single and personal favourite, everything here is brilliant another classic courtesy of The White Stripes 10/10
Little Acorns- a reporter kicks this off which seems strange but it works anyways, Jack's vocals go really funny on this one. weird stuff 9/10
Hypnotize- the shortest song, but one of the best 9/10
The Air Near My Fingers- i think this is my mum's favourite, and i can't blame her, it's just like seven nation army, brilliant 10/10
Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine- the most rock bluesy song on the album, but it seems too overhyped making somewhat of a dissapointment 4/10
Well It's True We Love One Another- this is where the british references come into play, with Holly Golightly guesting on vocals with Jack and Meg, this is the perfect end to a perfect album
why are you reading this??? just buy it!!
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