- White Stripes Interview: Meg White interviews her brother Jack for Amazon.co.uk. Read it now.
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Jokingly referred to as the White Stripes' "British" album, Elephant is scattered with little cultural references that give away the fact it was recorded far from the duo's US home--just listen to the lyrics on "Seven Nation Army" ("..from the Queen of England to the hounds of Hell") or the album outro where someone chips in "jolly good, cup of tea?". But although there are some new twists here, from Meg discovering her voice to a tongue-in-cheek threesome with Holly Golightly, Elephant is no great departure; more a culmination of their preceding albums. Meg and Jack push their creativity (and the boundaries of their eight track) to new heights for the startling, Queen-inspired "There's No Home for You Here" while the (pedal-induced) deep bassline on "Seven Nation Army" is a classic indie dancefloor filler. But although some songs fly off into new realms there's plenty of that straight-up bluesy rock that makes the duo such an amazing prospect live--just listen to the sweat dripping off the overtly sexual "Ball and Biscuit". And amid all this there's that plaintive, resolutely unegotistical and yet theatrical voice that makes them so unique; when Jack cries out on "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" there's a dark desperation Bacharach and David certainly didn't put there. --Caroline Butler
Band of the moment, the saviours of rock and roll...something to write about in an age of musical mediocrity? The White Stripes can be seen as all of the above. The hype around the release of their fourth album has gone on and on, the critics' saliva is abundant...finally it's here. Can it really change the course of mankind as we know it? Lets see...
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
Whilst living up to the incredibly popular White Blood Cells seemed a huge task, the White Stripes have effortlessly surpassed themselves and raised the bar for similar acts to follow once more. Where WBC was structured around a core 4 or 5 songs (most of which were later released as singles), Elephant eshews this in favour of a tighter more 'complete' album. Unlike its predecessor, Elephant mesmerises the listener until the final adieu of 'Well It's True That We Love One Another', each track perfectly encapsulating the anguish and humour of Jack's lyrical outbursts. The American Gothic visions he conjures are propelled by the familiar Stripes' soundscapes taken to the Nth degree. First single, and album opener 'Seven Nation Army' sets the tone with a bass line sure to become an indie classic. 'Ball and Biscuit' sees Jack bursting into Hendrix-esque guitar solos, whilst 'Hypnotize' and its thunderous wave of sound would not have sounded out of place on QOTSA's last effort. A gloriously cheesy spoken introduction opens 'Little Acorns', only for it to degenerate into a blur of guitars, drums and unhingend vocals. It all seems a mile away from WBC's series of simple (though effective) riffs. Add to this sonic assault manic chanting (on There's No Home for You Here'), self deprecating dialogue (Well It's True...) and the requisite piano and you have an album which never risks slipping into repetition. As with previous WS albums, it is often the quieter, less abrupt tracks which emerge as true gems upon repeated listening.Read more ›
All the tracks have much more depth (and bass) than Meg and Jack's earlier work. They display a greater musical range and Jack performs some killer guitar work. The intelligent songwriting and brilliant lyrics are also another highlight of the cd. Influences jump from Iggy and the Stooges, Zepplin, Queen, Dylan, old school blues, and even some Velvet Underground is thrown in the mix. "There's no home for you here" sounds like Freddie Mercury on acid!!! It just blows my mind how good this cd is!!!! A landmark achievement.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent product excellent condition as described couldn't ask for any better would definitely recommendPublished 3 months ago by coops