The following is not really a review in so much as it is Steve just blabbing to the world about his favorite album of the moment. So, sit back, and enjoy his meandering ramblings.
Since Ted detailed the new White Stripes single in his last "Song of the Week" feature, I have been inspired to listen to some more of the candy-caned crew lately. To be honest, outside of the White Stripes' land of singles, I wasn't real familiar with the band. So, like any good, ignorant newbie, I decided to check out the band's most commercially successful album, Elephant. I know, I know, I know--I can hear some of you hardcore WS fans screaming that buying and making judgements based off of the band's most popular album (thus far) is akin to rock and roll poseurdom. ---Kinda like not ever listening to Soft Parade or Doors self-titled, but buying The Doors' Greatest Hits instead, and allowing only that compilation to suffice as complete understanding of the band.
Frankly, the choice to listen to Elephant came down to logistics more than anything else: none of my other roommates had a copy of any of the Whites' other albums. Despite all of these fallbacks, however, I must say that I was blown away. I mean, maybe I've been living under a musical rock lately and am a little behind on my Garage Rock Revival (Album was released in 2003), but this album is pure genius! And to be sure, it is certainly better to discover great music now, rather than later. Why do I love this album so much you may ask? For one, there is no filler! To borrow from Sum 41: the disc is all killer and NO filler. The disc is also full of experimentation, minimalistic drumming, catchy guitar hooks, total distortion and off-the-wall vocalizations, all complimenting itself within the context of indie rock. In sum, you can listen to this album from start to finish and not feel bored. Every song has its own unique twist, whether it is Meg White singing softly, the song about squirrel nuts or the goofy rock opera on the last track. But, if I had to use one word to describe the entire essence of this very powerful album it would have to be VIGOR. The album is tightly wound from beginning to finish.
So, if any of you folks are looking for a good, solid rock album to listen to this holiday weekend, try Elephant on for size. And to you already established White Stripes fans, I apologize.
And don't worry, "Steve's Retro Song of the Week" will soon return. ;)
FYI: My favorite song to jam out to on Elephant probably has to be 'Ball and Biscuit.'
White Stripes - Elephant ED2K link