Four months before I was born (2003) The White Stripes released their fourth studio album Elephant. This duo with a questionable relationship (They were supposedly married, but presented themselves as brother and sister) begin to come together and sound like a larger band than they were. Donning their classic red, white and black threads, Jack and Meg White craft this cool list of stories. The most recognized track is “Seven Nation Army” a simple rock song with a bass line a beginner could play, but a feel some experienced players can’t get right. My band has played this song and it’s always a crowd favorite with killer slide guitar solos and a mysterious vocal line.
Ranked number 390 on Rolling Stone’s best album list, Elephant never quite sounds like itself. There are many different vibes in this mix of fourteen tracks with influences from many genres coming into play. You can hear a classic George Thorogood guitar and vocal feel in the song “Ball And Biscuit”. Later they go into a rocking punk vibe in their song “Hypnotize” that as a Green Day fan, I loved. On their last song, ” Well It’s True That We Love One Another” they use a cheeky country sound to get across a seemingly out-of-place tale between a funny couple.
Although I had known “Seven Nation Army” before, hearing it in context with the entire album gave me a new perspective on the song. I recommend this album for fans of all different types of music as I think they capture the essence of multiple genres without straying from their original purpose of rocking on.
I always find Jack White & The White Stripes strangely intriguing. I tend to pay attention when they are played on the radio. It’s one of those things that I am drawn to, but not sure if I really like it. Maybe it is their attitude filled, punky blues sound that just seeps into my head –as it did while hearing the full Elephant album for the first time.
When Max & I finished the album we immediately agreed that we would listen to it again… and that’s exactly what we are doing as we each write our part.
This album changes gears a lot and it’s a bit perplexing. The more classically constructed alternative rock tracks “Seven Nation Army” & “The Hardest Button to Button” were stand outs the first time through. But on further exploration it is the sweetly stripped downed “You’ve Got Her in Your Pocket” with its dark lyric about an insecure lover seeking to control and hold on to his partner, that stayed with me. Another track that resonated with me is “I Want to Be the Boy That Warms Your Mother’s Heart”. It addresses the never good enough for my daughter syndrome that follows many young men trying to find their own direction in life. I also enjoyed some of the more bluesy and punky tunes that showed off Jack’s wide guitar range and Meg’s unique drumming.
Cool experience. Glad we spent time here.
Elephant is #390 on the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list
And then when all the feeling’s gone
Just decide if you want to keep holding on
I want to your little hand
If I can be so bold. If I can be so bold. If I can be so bold.