White Blood Cells

White Blood Cells

4.8 20
by The White Stripes
     
 

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Anyone can grab something off a thrift store rack and call it fashion, but it takes a lot of chopping and channeling to create genuine style. Detroit's White Stripes have style for miles and miles -- and not just in their candy-cane threads. The boy-girl duo, often lumped together with skronk-blues minimalists like Jon Spencer, are tooSee more details below

Overview

Anyone can grab something off a thrift store rack and call it fashion, but it takes a lot of chopping and channeling to create genuine style. Detroit's White Stripes have style for miles and miles -- and not just in their candy-cane threads. The boy-girl duo, often lumped together with skronk-blues minimalists like Jon Spencer, are too slippery to fit into that pigeonhole. Yes, there's a bit of fuzzed-out Zeppelin (and a lot of Willie McTell) in the shiver-inducing "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground," but deep indigo is only one of the colors in Jack and Meg White's palette. The pouty garage-stomp "Fell in Love with a Girl" tracks glam footprints everywhere it frugs, while the voice-and-drum "Little Room" -- one of the most succinct, self-aware descriptions of an artistic career arc you'll ever hear -- explodes in blood-red tones. The duo's appeal is more than just ear-deep, though. Singer/guitarist Jack White projects -- through both his mottled yelp and his guileless lyrics -- a yearning vulnerability that's eerily reminiscent of Kurt Cobain. You can hear it plainly in the gentle elementary-school amble of "We're Going to Be Friends," but also in the subtly affecting loss-of-innocence rave "I'm Finding It Harder to Be a Gentleman." And by the time he's finished muttering, moaning, and whispering through the despondent "The Union Forever," you'll not only get the message he's sending, you'll feel it so deeply that you'll want to deliver it by hand.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
Despite the seemingly instant attention surrounding them -- glowing write-ups in glossy magazines like Rolling Stone and Mojo, guest lists boasting names like Kate Hudson and Chris Robinson, and appearances on national TV -- the White Stripes have stayed true to the approach that brought them this success in the first place. White Blood Cells, Jack and Meg White's third effort for Sympathy for the Record Industry, wraps their powerful, deceptively simple style around meditations on fame, love, and betrayal. As produced by Doug Easley, it sounds exactly how an underground sensation's breakthrough album should: bigger and tighter than their earlier material, but not so polished that it will scare away longtime fans. Admittedly, White Blood Cells lacks some of the White Stripes' blues influence and urgency, but it perfects the pop skills the duo honed on De Stijl and expands on them. The country-tinged "Hotel Yorba" and immediate, crazed garage pop of "Fell in Love With a Girl" define the album's immediacy, along with the folky, McCartney-esque "We're Going to Be Friends," a charming, school-days love song that's among Jack White's finest work. However, White's growth as a songwriter shines through on virtually every track, from the cocky opener "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" to vicious indictments like "The Union Forever" and "I Think I Smell a Rat." "Same Boy You've Always Known" and "Offend in Every Way" are two more quintessential tracks, offering up more of the group's stomping riffs and rhythms and us-against-the-world attitude. Few garage rock groups would name one of their most driving numbers "I'm Finding It Harder to Be a Gentleman," and fewer still would pen lyrics like "I'm so tired of acting tough/I'm gonna do what I please/Let's get married," but it's precisely this mix of strength and sweetness, among other contrasts, that makes the White Stripes so intriguing. Likewise, White Blood Cells' ability to surprise old fans and win over new ones makes it the Stripes' finest work to date.
Rolling Stone - Pat Blashill
At a time when lots of folks would argue that rock is dead, a White Stripes ditty like the raging "I'm Finding It Harder to Be a Gentleman" actually sounds quite undead, like a love zombie or some other unstoppable monster.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/01/2008
Label:
Warner Bros / Wea
UPC:
0093624984306
catalogNumber:
512136
Rank:
6373

Tracks

  1. Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground  -  White Stripes
  2. Hotel Yorba  -  White Stripes
  3. I'm Finding It Harder to Be a Gentleman  -  White Stripes
  4. Fell in Love With a Girl  -  White Stripes
  5. Expecting  -  White Stripes
  6. Little Room  -  White Stripes
  7. The Union Forever  -  White Stripes
  8. The Same Boy You've Always Known  -  White Stripes
  9. We're Going to Be Friends  -  White Stripes
  10. Offend in Every Way  -  White Stripes
  11. I Think I Smell a Rat  -  White Stripes
  12. Aluminum  -  White Stripes
  13. I Can't Wait  -  White Stripes
  14. Now Mary  -  White Stripes
  15. I Can Learn  -  White Stripes
  16. This Protector  -  White Stripes

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