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Elephant Import

4.1 out of 5 stars 798 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, April 1, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

White Stripes ~ Elephant

Amazon.com

Jokingly referred to as the White Stripes' British album, Elephant is scattered with cultural references that give away the fact it was recorded far from home. Just listen to the lyrics on "Seven Nation Army" ("From the Queen of England to the hounds of Hell") or the album outro, in which someone chips in, "Jolly good, cup of tea?" But while there are new twists here, from Meg White discovering her voice to a tongue-in-cheek threesome with Holly Golightly, Elephant is no great departure for Jack and Meg White. They still push their creativity (and the boundaries of their eight-track) to new heights. Check out the startling, Queen-inspired "There's No Home for You Here," while the deep bass line on "Seven Nation Army" makes it a classic indie dance track. But while some songs fly off into new realms, there's plenty of their trademark straight-up bluesy rock, notably the overtly sexual "Ball and Biscuit." And there's Jack's plaintive, resolutely modest and yet theatrical voice. --Caroline Butler
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 1, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: V2 / Third Man Records
  • ASIN: B00008J4P5
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (798 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,538 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Listen, I've been a drummer for about 5 years now. And not to sound cocky, but I'm pretty damn good. And I can tell by listening to other drummers if they are good or not. Yes, Meg White's drumbeats are not hard one bit. They are probably the easiest drumbeats ever caught on tape. But that does not mean they are bad. They fit these songs perfectly. Jack has said it himself; if she was trying to be a hotshot drummer like most other drummers, it would not work. She blends perfectly. So shut the hell up, Meg bashers.

Now that I got my little rant out, I can now say that this is one of my favorite albums of all time. I never get sick of this album. I can rock out to this any time I want; in the car, at a party, in my room, etc. This music is completely infectious. From the opening guitar in "Seven Nation Army" to the rather amusing ending to "Well It's True That We Love One Another," I feel hypnotized (no tie-in intended).

Jack White, whether you want to admit it or not, is an amazing guitarist. The things this guy can do never fail to astound me. He has some solos on this disc that are almost Hendrix-worthy. His vocals are also incredibly powerful. He isn't the greatest singer in the world, and he doesn't need to be. Like Meg's drumming, his voice fits this music perfectly. Let's go through the songs, shall we?

"Seven Nation Army" - The perfect opening to this album. A very hypnotic guitar part and some great lyrics. Meg's drums sound incredibly powerful in this one. I personally think it was worth the radio play that it got.

"Black Math" - One of the hardest rockin' songs on this album. The vocals are stinging, and the slight tempo change in the middle is really cool. This is even better when played live.
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Format: Audio CD
It's the same White Stripes you've always known. Great garage rock mixed with folky acoustic songs. Somewhat odd song titles and somewhat odd lyrics. Still no bass (the "bass" on Seven Nation Army is actually a guitar). And who's complaining? Not a soul.
Despite how similar Elephant is to the rest of the White Stripes catalogue (in a couple instances songs even partially use the exact same chords and melodies as songs from White Blood Cells), it does show continued musical maturation and experimentation. In addition to longer, more creative solos, songs such as Black Math, There's No Home For You Here, and Ball and Biscuit show some changes to the White Stripes sound. Black Math juxtaposes a punk rock chord riff with a more heavy metal sounding guitar (like the acoustic and electric in Now Mary from White Blood Cells). There's No Room For You Here is almost a rewrite of Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground until the music breaks off and there is only feedback and the chorus sung in harmony. Ball and Biscuit contains a classic blues riff repeated over and over, until it bursts into an amazing blistering solo. These songs are different from the normal White Stripes formula (is there such a thing?), and provide even more evidence of Jack White's songwriting skill.
Some fans of the hard garage rock songs may be turned off by the softer, acoustic/piano songs on here. There are three; You've Got Her in Your Pocket, In the Cold, Cold Night, and Well It's True That We Love One Another. Well It's True (a country sing-a-long type song, with Jack, Meg, and Holly singing to each other about Jack's love for Holly) is the worst song on the album, because of it's novelty. The others, however, are good acoustic songs, much like Hotel Yorba from White Blood Cells, although not as great.
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Format: 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".
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