Rock & roll is constantly splintering into multiple personalities. Big radio players layer thick slabs of studio shine on their albums, while back-to-the-basics rockers keep the sound so raw it rubs calluses on your ears. The White Stripes fall in the latter category. The duo strips down to the fundamentals of Meg White's simple drumbeat and Jack White's garagy guitar and pleading vocals. While the elements are sparse, the Detroit act create a noisy, hip-grinding batch of punk R&B, displayed again on White Blood Cells
, the Stripes' third full-length. While it's hard to pick favorites from such talent, this band only gets better with time. White's vocals were sounding like a young Robert Plant on De Stijl
--definitely not a bad thing--but on Cells
, he's developed his own persona. He throws musical fits on "Fell in Love with a Girl," gets almost loungy on the piano number "This Protector," and keeps the blues vibe running on "Now Mary." The album is so rich with basic variations on a simple theme it's hard to believe such soulful energy comes from just two people. White Blood Cells
is an amazing piece of work, a benchmark that ought to inspire new legions of garage rockers for years to come. --Jennifer Maerz
US 180-gram vinyl. White Blood Cells is the third album by alternative rock band The White Stripes. The band's commercial breakthrough, this 2001 album went gold,spinning off the Top 20 Modern Rock hits 'Fell In Love With A Girl' and 'Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground.' White Blood Cells peaked at number 61 on the Billboard 200 and it reached number 55 in the UK, being bolstered in both territories by the "Fell in Love with a Girl" single. The album was dedicated to Loretta Lynn, creating a friendship between Lynn and both Jack and Meg White. In 2004, Jack White would produce Lynn's comeback hit album Van Lear Rose.16 tracks.