41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Same Sound, Same Great Result,
This review is from: Elephant (Vinyl)
There are things in life that we just don't want to see change because they're so damn good the way they are. They're comfort food for the soul. The White Stripes are such comfort food for me. Following up the massive breakout record White Blood Cells they've given us another fabulous record that bleeds classic White Stripes sound. . The title, Elephant, was chosen because the animal represents their personalities: regal, innocent, compassionate, and subtle. The musical rules are loosened a bit from the previous record's tight restrictions, but it's hardly anything new, even in the world of Jack and Meg White. IN the end it's still all about guitar and drums, indistinct relationships, and red and white outfits.
Jack's confidence as a songwriter really shows through. It's as Jack has stated an album about the death of the sweethearts (note the dying country lovers the album cover depicts) and, for the most part, the songs center around the ways of love, relationships, commitment and the rules that govern going about them. Nothing too new here, much like a lot of White Blood Cells lyric wise; personal with keeping enough hidden to still be mysterious.
The musical structure is quite familiar, but there's enough "new" elements to satisfy. They're quite comfortable with themselves and their musical formula and they should be because it works quite well. The first single and lead track "Seven Nation Army" kicks in with a false bass groove (guitar w/ pedal effect) and kicks the album to a charging start with the usual charging blues based riffs that have become Jack's trademark. The loud riffing continues on such songs as the building then bombastic "Hardest Button to Button", the crunching "Little Acorns", and the punk, could be hit single "Hypnotize". Then there's the softer side of Jack White with the acoustic, tender "You've Got Her in Your Pocket" and "Cold, Cold Night", which has Meg takes over on vocals.
The record just reminds me why the White Stripes are so much beyond just another garage revival band (not that the rest of the bands are without merit). Even with all the relationship rumors that float around the band and their personas they never pretend to be something they're not. Even with their simplistic musical styles they're still put out more a more interesting sound than the rest of the lot. The slow going evolution of Jack White's songwriting is certainly something to be excited about and I think they've yet to make their best record, but this one is pretty damn close if not.