The White Stripes – Elephant (2003)
Thank you Zoolander:
“Sting would be another person who’s a hero. The music he’s created over the years, I don’t really listen to it, but the fact that he’s making it, I respect that.”
Though it’s a ridiculous quote, replace Sting with Jack White and that’s just about my feelings exactly.
As Elephant celebrates its 10th anniversary, I’m seeing it through that lens.
10 years ago, as a student with illusions of rock stardom, I couldn’t understand the hype. “It’s so basic, There’s nothing special about it, The drums…” were my typical flabbergasted reactions to the enormous popularity of the group.
I’m finally appreciating the significance/appeal of The White Stripes:
– The early 2000s were far from a musical golden era. The White Stripes helped usher in a ‘back to basics’ garage rock movement, a refreshing change of pace.
– There was nothing special about the songs and that’s why they resonated (and continue to do so) with such huge audiences. Rhythm guitar + Drums. It worked and it works!
– Poor Meg White was likely the Ringo of her generation. In both cases, the minimalist (if somewhat clumpy) style is effective. She’s not Keith Moon and that’s OK.
Seven Nation Army is unequivocally one of the best singles of the 21st century. There are certainly other highlights on Elephant but track-for-track, its follow-up Get Behind Me Satan is the stronger record.
Jack White is something else: a multi-instrumentalist, he experiments with different genres & production techniques, and has played with just about every ensemble possible. His commitment to making music is inspiring & his work has likely encouraged countless people to pick up an instrument and play along.
Nothing but respect for that.