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Old 07-14-2009, 09:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The White Stripes - White Blood Cells (2001)

The White Stripes - White Blood Cells


1 Dead Leaves and The Dirty Ground 3:04
2 Hotel Yorba 2:10
3 I'm Finding It Harder to Be a Gentleman 2:54
4 Fell in Love with a Girl 1:50
5 Expecting 2:03
6 Little Room :50
7 The Union Forever 3:26
8 The Same Boy You've Always Known 3:09
9 We're Going to Be Friends 2:22
10 Offend in Every Way 3:06
11 I Think I Smell a Rat 2:04
12 Aluminum 2:19
13 I Can't Wait 3:38
14 Now Mary 1:47
15 I Can Learn 3:31
16 This Protector 2:10

We all know about The White Stripes, the marvellous two-piece from Detroit. Brilliant imagery, brilliant music, are they siblings? Are they married? All adds to the mystic of a group who have now been with us for 10 years. The talents of Jack White are unquestionable and when thought about are truly staggering, in The White Stripes he is complimented wonderfully by Meg White on drums. Still to think they have managed to release album after album as a two-piece for a decade now without sounding the least bit tiresome is quite the achievement.

In 2001, The White Stripes released their third album on label Sympathy for The Record Industry; called White Blood Cells the album was the follow up to their hard edged garage revivalist self titled debut from 1999, and their second album from a similar vein from 2000 entitled De Stijl, both of these precursors went down a storm in university hall of residents across the United Kingdom. By this third release the band were very much going past their underground beginnings and were starting to gain the attentions of the mainstream on both sides of the Atlantic. Glowing was the praise, increasingly the live favourites and all the while playing something quite fresh, this despite their obvious winks and nods to the past. But safe to say that with White Blood Cells, the band’s legacy was certainly sealed.

At 16 tracks long, White Blood Cells is certainly an impressive creation, but at around 40 minutes is very much short and indeed sweet. This album also I think encapsulates the entire career of The White Stripes perfectly, providing an insight into the bands musical taste as well as their past and future directions, easily making it one of the great albums from the past decade.

The triumphs on this album are many, Jack White has a brilliant voice, sharing many of the traits of idol Blind Willie McTell, a man who had a voice with a gorgeous character all of its own, but its not just about the Jack White’s voice, the songs that both he and Meg had written on the first two albums were compelling beasts, with nursery rhyme lyrics placed over a hard edged blood bath of music. However on White Blood Cells the normally fiery brand of music The White Stripes blessed us with has been toned down slightly, making it a lot more accessible, but thankfully not so accessible that your mother would start to like it.

When we talk about the array of brilliant songs on this album like Fell in Love with a Girl and I Think I Smell a Rat, we’re certainly not talking middle of the road nonsense here; it still remains proper garage music to its core. But this proper garage music is intertwined with wonderfully mellow songs too, songs like the beautiful We’re Going to Be Friends. It really has something for everyone and considering The White Stripes are a mere two-piece, each song retains its own personality and trait, a real sense of feeling. It’s a cracking album this.

Obviously this album is heavily overshadowed by popular culture with the 2003 release of Elephant, an opportunity for the bandwagon to get well and truly jumped on, but to be fair Elephant is a cracking album in itself but for me, not as good as White Blood Cells. White Blood Cells in my humble opinion is the ultimate White Stripes album, the piece of work which demonstrates in all its glory the brilliance and diversity of this great band for our time.
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