There’s a certain riff that comes to mind whenever The White Stripes are mentioned, but the duo always had more up their sleeves than one stadium-pounding anthem. The White Stripes pushed rock in a new direction with elements of punk, blues, folk, and more in their 2003 record Elephant.
If there’s one thing The White Stripes can do, it’s jam. Elephant has plenty of wild, raucous moments throughout it that really exemplify that. ‘Black Math‘ explodes with abundant energy that almost can’t be contained, the riff and solo oozing a punky attitude as Jack White shouts above the intense drive. Other tracks have a similar craziness about them, like ‘Little Acorns‘ (which is introduced by an odd but necessary anecdote) with its wild atmosphere and ‘Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine,’ which roars to life with a fast, energetic vibe. The punchiness of ‘The Hardest Button To Button‘ also brings a nice dynamic energy to the record. Not all tracks are a massive jam, nor do all tracks start as one: ‘There’s No Home For You Here‘ starts softly before building into a bigger end. And of course, who can’t say they’ve rocked out to opening track ‘Seven Nation Army,’ a track synonymous with roaring crowds and high octane atmospheres.
There’s many hidden gems in Elephant that really give you a great idea of what The White Stripes are all about. There’s a bit of everything in this record, though rock is definitely the central focus. Folky vibes are channeled in closing track ‘Well It’s True That We Love One Another,‘ ending things off weirdly but on a sweet, if not non-serious way. Other tracks are much more skillful, especially when Jack White channels bluesy attitudes: ‘Ball and Biscuit‘ is a blues jam, White’s guitar solos huge, wild, and chaotic. Acoustic numbers like ‘In The Cold, Cold Night‘ where Meg White took over vocal duty and ‘You’ve Got Her In Your Pocket‘ take things down a bit to provide a reprieve from the energy, also allowing for The White Stripes to place a focus on the lyrics. Elephant has a bit of everything for fans of rock of all varieties.
The White Stripes earned their title as one of alternative rock’s much influential outfits, and their creativity still shines bright today. The White Stripes’ 2003 effort Elephant brought together several genres and influences to create one huge record, complete with massive riffs, solos, and drive. This was a band that was not afraid to try and change things up.
Favorite Tracks: Seven Nation Army, Ball and Biscuit
Least Favorite Track: Hypnotize
Rating: 75 / 100
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