WME News!

I picked up the White Stripes’ Elephant tonight, and am listening
to it for the first time as I write this. Now, White Blood Cells
is one of my favorite albums, and the one that got me listening to,
well, whatever genre that is, and then got me rediscovering punk.
So I’m pretty fond of Jack and Meg to begin with.

Even accounting for that, though, Elephant is a fantastic album.
It picks up where White Blood Cells left off and takes our
red and white kissing-sibling heros away from the rough punk edge of the
Strokes and the Hives and straight towards the blues. Jack White manages to get
more music out of his guitar than some bands get out of two guitars
and an electric bass, and there’s some outstanding guitar work on here —
especially on “Ball and Biscuit”, a straight-ahead twelve-bar blues with
an extended guitar solo which could belong as much in the Chess
catalogue as here, and which had me sitting staring at the speakers for
its duration.

But most of what’s here is what fans have come to expect from the
White Stripes, delivered without disappointment. It’s kept as interesting
as always — their cover of Burt Bacharach’s “I Just Don’t
Know What To Do With Myself”, the 70’s-guitar-rock choruses of
“There’s No Home For You Here”, Meg White handling lead vocals on the
almost-sultry “In The Cold, Cold Night”, Jack playing piano and Rhodes on a few tracks,
and a guest appearance by Holly Golightly (!) — but it’s never gimmicky. This is an album of what the White Stripes do best, and they do it as well as ever.

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