White Stripes

By - May 1st, 2003 02:52 pm
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By Jeremy Saperstein

A college chum and I used to earnestly discuss how Guns’N’Roses were most certainly the future of rock. Paul Westerberg of the Replacements once said something like “Most bands stand outside and throw stones at the house; I think we have a chance to throw ‘em out from the inside”. I remember being blissfully happy, then slightly addled, then feeling angry and usurped when advance copies of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” played on the stereo in every record store I visited, back in that day.

Does the new White Stripes record sound like any of these artists? Is that why I’m bringing them up?

Well, no. The feeling of new discovery is really the thing here. Odds are you’re at least passing familiar with the Stripes’ schtick by now: boy & girl/guitar & drums duo, playing the hell out of some well-written and unique originals, not straying too far from roots in basements and garages all over the world.

Elephant is all of that, for sure, but more. Indeed, it’s the record on which the Stripes begin delivering on all of the potential & hype they’ve been saddled with. “There’s No Home For You Here” with it’s fist-pumping 60s vocals and taut playing (including electric piano filigrees!) is my early favorite, but “Seven Nation Army” (the first single) and “Well It’s True That We Love One Another” (which features guest vocals by Holly Golightly) are climbing in my view as well.

This ‘un is a good ‘un, to paraphrase Otis Rush.

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