by The White StripesThe White Stripes


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Their binary color scheme -- red, white -- and instrumental attack -- guitar, drums -- belie the dazzling array of hues these Detroit natives bring to their wildly popular post-blues-rock. Elephant, the Stripes' fourth long-player, has been trumpeted as a make-or-break deal, since it arrives on the heels of their smash White Blood Cells, and from virtually the first groove of the anthemic "Seven Nation Army," it's clear that they have no intention of buckling under the strain. Whether he's stomping, as on the incendiary "The Air Near My Fingers," or swooning, as on "I Want to Be the Boy" (which continues his string of infectiously innocent pre-adolescent love paeans), Jack White remains intriguingly real, unflaggingly believable. Elephant isn't a huge departure from White Blood Cells; it's more an intensification of that album's M.O., with the noisy songs offering up more noise and the sweet counterpoints a little more sugar. The band's nods to the blues have grown more confident, with icons like Lightnin' Hopkins and Son House used as stepping-stones rather than crutches, a transition they display on the distortion-laced epic "Ball and Biscuit." Making a big noise is but one of the Stripes' strengths, though: The sound and fury they unleash here signifies plenty, particularly on the bitterly careening "Black Math" and the feedback-caressed cover of the Bacharach classic "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself." In keeping with their minimalist aesthetic, the White Stripes recorded Elephant in just a few days, using just a few tracks on an ancient studio board. But the result -- to borrow a line from that credit card campaign -- is absolutely priceless.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/01/2008
Label: Warner Bros / Wea
UPC: 0093624984290
catalogNumber: 512138
Rank: 7749

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