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3.9 out of 5 stars317
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on June 30, 2004
A lot of people prefer the sound of Elephant to this album, and while I loved Elephant I still say this is their legacy. It is one of the rarities you find that you can listen to without skipping a single track. I originally bought this album because I liked Fell in Love With a Girl, but I never expected it to be one of the best albums I have ever heard. It is just that in my mind, from the opening track Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground to the end track This Protector. It is so eclectic in sound ranging from the blues sound found in their earlier work to some more accoustic ballads, and even a touch of country(of which I am not a fan, but Jack White does it right). It is simply amazing that two people are behind music this big, and while they keep it simplistic and minimalistic they are the best in making full use of what they have. Fell in Love With a Girl is a great song and we have all heard that one by now. But if you were ever pondering buying this cd and haven't then go buy it quickly. Hotel Yorba is one of the songs with a country feel to it and I think it is great. All in all every songs flows into the next one really well and the diversity in style makes this a truly great piece of music. If you are still unsure, download some tracks like I'm Finding It Harder..., The Union Forever, I Think I Smell a Rat, Now Mary and Fell in Love With A Girl. Once you hear these you should have a great idea of the sound the Stripes present in White Blood Cells and you will either love it or hate it. It is destined to become a classic and rightfully so. Regardless, check this out if you yearn for meaningful music you surely wont see on MTV. You will probably be glad you did. And one more thing, check out another great one by the White Stripes, Elephant.
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on March 11, 2004
my fav white stripes album, its harder and better. to those who criticize the white stripes..?!?!?.. its a guy and a girl for the most part, its minimal, and honestly they rarely self endulge as they ride many styles, from thumpin metal to cutsie folk.
I think track 5 (expecting) is most self indulgent as they go deep into their riffy, abstract metal, but its still a good one. My favs are:
1. dead leaves... great intro riff and chorus, the lyrics as always totally click with me, hard and good.
3. Gentelmen... incorporates an organ/piano for a classic hook, their minimal style lends to great builds ups n climax, its done here to perfection.
4. Fell in love with a girl... uve probably heard it, its good , loud and fast, not my fav.
the middle lulls a bit to me .. although 5 as mentioned before is good. little room is an interestin exscursion/filler.
9. we are going to be friends... 2nd song i ever heard of theirs. very folky and light, same riff over and over but jacks lyrics more than make up for it as usual. i like it.
13. i cant wait.. the song is good, a good example of jane's hypnotic drums. At one point when you think the lyrics are going to continue they are dropped and jack picks up on them with his guitar, one of my favorite effects. and Jack always does it superbly, especially here, i think it saves the song.
16. this protector... putting this track at the end rather than in the middle somewhere transforms it from a good filler to an almost awe inspiring 30 seconds for me... after he goes through the first lyrics, and then a short buildup to
" 300 people living out in west virginia,
have no idea about these thoughts that are within ya
... nobodies around... lookin at the door.. comin through the floor."
i dunno its just clicks with me and stands at as one of the all time concluding tracks for me.. it sums it all up so well...
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on February 9, 2004
then definitely pick up this 2001 commercial hit.
The opener, "Dead Leaves and Dirty Ground" has the same tasty plodding hard rock guitar riffs that characterized the eponymous record (1999), a style which occupies much of this record ("Expecting", "Offend in Every Way", "Aluminum", "I Can't Wait"), although Jack White has come a long way in terms of writing lyrics.
The second tune, "Hotel Yorba", is country blues in the finest tradition, not unlike the tunes that dominated their second record, 'De Stijl' (2000) or retro-experiments of the Rolling Stones' 'Exile on Main St.' (1972). The same can be said of the lovely acoustic ballad, "We're Going to Be Friends" (the sequel to "Sister, Do You Know My Name"?).
The highpoints appear when Jack and Meg White distill their influences into products of their own voice, such as "I'm Finding It Harder to Be a Gentleman", with it's hard rock/piano riff you just can't get out of your head. On that note, I would be remiss if I did not mention their biggest single, the sparse and manic "I Fell in Love with a Girl" (if you haven't THIS one, you must be living under a rock). Finally, of note is the juxtaposition of the two centerpieces of the record - the first being the most minimalist song of this "minimalist" band, "Little Room", which is probably the best summation of Kurt Cobain's career that has ever been done - all in 50 seconds. The theme of selling out is carried on in "The Union Forever", with a guitar/organ riff ripped from the same gothic page as the bass line in "Seven Nation Army".
The bottom line is that if you liked the Grammy-winning 'Elephant' (2001), then 'White Blood Cells' is a must.
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on February 8, 2004
I was getting sick of it. I was loosing faith in the music industry. In the midst of raprock bands calling themselves metal (Linkin Park), Sluts with horrible radio hits (Beyonce) and once-great bands releasing horrid albums, comes The White Stripes. They were the music industry's last hope for raw, quality, real music. They have been under the radar for quite some time with two great albums (White Stripes and Deji Still) -but never made it big until a few great songs off here made it big. Fell In Love with a Girl is a fast paced powerhouse, and Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground is a great song, but the best one here is an overlooked track called 'Finding Harder to Be a Gentlemen' - and excellent song, very catchy. This is pure rock and roll with a healthy dose of blues. Jack and Meg are an excellent team, and obviously didn't buckle under the pressure as they released another great album, Elephant. Still, this is a great album. Only, there are 2 tracks that pollute the album. Little Room and Were Going to Be Friends aren't really great, but don't make this a bad album. All in all, this is a great album.
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on January 15, 2004
This album was handed to me by a friend; I had never heard any of the White Stripes' music or anything about them whatsoever before hearing this disc. It was a completely cold listen. There's some pretty good stuff on here - the first half of the disc has far more energy and kick to it than the last half (my attention span declined drastically as the album played on); "Hotel Yorba" has a great beat and melody that sticks. That said there's also some lousy stuff on this disc: why were "I Think I Smell A Rat" and "Aluminum" even recorded? I found myself laughing out loud at "Aluminum"'s chorus-laden wails (if it's supposed to be funny then it's brilliant, but it's hard to tell). What was most evident is that garage rock has become its own genre complete with its own clichés (recording hiss, intentionally sloppy feedback, intentionally sloppy drumming, some fret buzz every now and then, some missed notes intentionally left in the mix, cracking vocals, flat mixing, distortion overdriven to a painful degree, etc - these have been elements of "garage" rock for well over 20 years). There's nothing revolutionary here, and some of the music sounds a bit too forced in places (like the band is trying really hard to be creative), but that's okay; good music doesn't need to be revolutionary or "redefine" a genre. All it needs to be is fun or engaging to listen to. The White Stripes have succeeded in at least that. Not to mention that it's becoming harder and harder to be "revolutionary" in the genre of guitar rock. Guitar rock is simply going the way of jazz and folk in that there's simply not much more one can do to "expand" the genre that hasn't already been experimented with. But that's also okay. It opens up pathways to new music forms, and is pretty much inevitable no matter what venue of popular music one looks at. Music forms come and go, and fans of one genre or generation will always claim that "mine is better, yours is derivative and takes less talent to play... blah blah blah blah..." (jazz fans said this about rockabilly, "old" country fans said this about "new" country, fans of "classic" opera said this about "comic" opera - i.e., Wagner vs. Gilbert & Sullivan, etc., etc., etc...). Just enjoy the music already.
All that garbage aside, I'll be curious to hear some of the White Stripes' other albums. I think including more of the woman's vocals would really add an extra dimension to the music.
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on January 13, 2004
My Cousin and I love the white stripes,we even started our own band following the footsteps of our fellow rockers.all in all,this CD Is awesome. Here's What I Think
1.Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground 5/5 Wonderful. One Of The Reasons I Wanted The Album
2.Hotel Yorba 5/5 Me And My Cousin's Favorite, It's A Stay-In-Your-Head Type Of Song
3.Finding It Harder To Be A Gentleman 5/5 I Like It,But I Don't think my cousin does
4.Fell in love with a girl 5/5- another reason i bought the album
5.Expecting- 3/5 Not an awesome song but at the end you can hear meg saying "can you go get me a coffee",or something like that
6.Little Room- Another One Of Me And My Cousin's Favorite,Although It's Only 50 Seconds Long,It's Probably The Best Track On The Album
7.The Union Forever 5/5 AWESOME,when my cousin heard it,she thought it was about Michael meyers from HALLOWEEN.
8.The Same Boy You've Always Known 5/5 GREAT,sad lyrics though
9.We're Gonna Be Friends- 4/5 The Song Was Much Better In The Video
10.Offend In Every Way 2/5 Filler
11.I Think I Smell A Rat 5/5 HILARIOUS
12.Aluminum 5/5 the WEIRDEST song on the face of the earth,don't you just love those kind a songs?
13.I Can't Wait 3/5 Could be better,but my dad likes it
14.Now Mary 5/5 I Could Listen To This One All Day
15.I Can Learn 2/5 Another Filler
16.This Protector 5/5 Love It,Although My Mom Says It's Dumb
The White Stripes Rule,This A Must-Have For Any Modern Rock Fan.
Forget The Strokes,The Vines,The Hives,The Exies,And All Those Freaks
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on December 22, 2003
1. Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground- A slow, brooding rock song with good lyrics and a cool video.
2. Hotel Yorba- A silly little country-influenced jam with an adorable video. You'll be singing the chorus forever.
3. I'm Finding It Harder To Be A Gentleman- One of my favorite songs on the album. Nice piano, a good tune, and great lyrics about misplaced attempts at chivalry.
4. Fell In Love With A Girl- The big hit of the album. Fun and fast and wears surprisingly well.
5. Expecting- Not my favorite, but good. Slow bluesy rock stuff. Jack delivers the lyrics well.
6. Little Room- Almost too short and sparse to be a song, but still a lot of fun. Composed of drums and vocals that descend rapidly into old jazz-style scatting.
7. The Union Forever- A little overdramatic and wearing at times, but still a cool and passionate song. Awesome lyrics taken from "Citizen Kane."
8. The Same Boy You've Always Known- Winsome and sweet and melancholy. I like it a lot. :)
9. We're Going To Be Friends- An soft, melodic song through a child's eyes, done in a perfect and non-cloying way.
10. Offend In Every Way- Pretty good music, cool lyrics about self-doubt and relationships with others.
11. I Think I Smell A Rat- Kind of amusing, but gets old fast.
12. Aluminum- A weird aural experiment that is pretty cool. I don't skip it when listening to the CD, but I don't get cravings for it, either, which is less than I can see for most of the songs on the album (the other major exception being Track 11).
13. I Can't Wait- A solid song that seems unremarkable at first, but grows on you rapidly.
14. Now Mary- Slightly blues influenced, mostly lighter slow-rock. Enjoyable.
15. I Can Learn- The delicate words seem kind of out of place with the labored melody, but a cool song that's been stuck in my head lately.
16. This Protector- Weird, but really great. Becoming one of my favorites.
In conclusion: This is an excellent album, as is every album I've heard from the Stripes, but I prefer Elephant and De Stijl. Some fabulous songs, some good but not quite awesome ones, and just two that I don't like much. Not as great as other White Stripes works, but still somewhat addictive and recommended by me (though the other two I mentioned are recommended a bit more highly).
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on November 10, 2003
Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground- Such a sad song. It has an excellent beat and lyrics, but Jack's just so... sad.
Hotel Yorba- This one's so fun to sing along with. You can't hear it and not want to sing.
I'm Finding it Harder to be a Gentleman- I like the lyrics to this song. They're humorous and light, but get a good point across.
Fell In Love With A Girl- This song was played a lot by MTV, but not so much anymore. The video is awesome. The song has awesome music. Awesome, awesome, awesome.
Expecting- This is my least favorite song on this album.
Little Room- At only 50 seconds long, Little Room doesn't seem like it has much to offer. But hey, I like it.
The Union Forever- I like this song a whole lot. It's a very good song.
The Same Boy You've Always Known- This might just be my favorite on this album. It's a very close runner-up to I Can't Wait. The song is pretty sad. The best part is, "Think of what the past did, it could've lasted. So put it in your basket. I hope you know a strong man, who can lend you a hand, lowering my casket."
We're Going to be Friends- One word describes this song... aww!
Offend in Every Way- This song is so cool. I like how Jack writes about everyday things. This one's about how people are offended when he talks, since it sounds nothing like his singing voice. "I'll speak until I break, with every word I say, offend in every way."
I Think I Smell A Rat- This is a cool song. Very easy to relate to.
Aluminum- This sounds really cool. There are no lyrics, but this song is a demonstration of what can be done without computers; using just two people's intruments.
I Can't Wait- This song is my favorite. Jack's angry in it, and I like how he expresses it.
Now Mary- This song is also very good. It switches back and forth from the aocustic guitar to the bass one.
I Can Learn- I don't really like this song. Should've been left off the album.
This Protector- Jack plays the piano. Very cool. Meg even sings along with him, and gets to sing the words "But Now" all by herself. Yay for Meg!
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on October 28, 2003
and that's all that counts. They've got style, attitude, integrity, abilities, songwriting skills, and stuff, and stuff, and stuff and things. This album gets the same amount of attention as Elephant but for the reason that it really got them into the public eye.(although De Stijl had definitely done so also). Elephant gets better CRITICAL acclaim. However, after i bought both albums, listened to them for a while, took a step back and made an unbiased judgement, this album is just as good if not better than Elephant. With a band like the Stripes this could mean it has more songs, but does elephant have a song like Aluminum? that song is excellent. This protector is cool and yes Meg does sing on this album on more than one song. The union forever has the BEST lyrics of theirs, although other political songs hae been better. And little room is fun. Fell in love with a girl is still a great song, and hypnotise from Elephant sounds like a variation on it. Also, Dead leaves and the dirty ground is like Ball and Biscuit but without the long jam or solos. So what do they sound like? Energetic blues-influenced riff-rock. (wow i sound really stupid). There are so many levels of songwriting-Now Mary is simple yet effective, as is Fell in love with a girl. These show the band's famous minimalist style- Two members, yes? they make Linkin Park look like buttholes with six people jumping around acting all angry. There is hidden melodic depth to the songs as well. Highly reccommended to fans of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Radiohead, Nirvana,Led Zeppelin, and the Doors. Hmm does that say something? Elephant, De Stijl, and their self titled are good albums too, pick them up if you like this one or even if you don't. And stuff.
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on October 21, 2003
Every so often, I wonder whether I'm growing up. I started listening to Rock music when I was 17, and most of the groups I admire now I loved three years ago, too. I can still get excited about new songs, but now they are mainly new songs by acts I love (Frank Black, Lou Reed), or old, old songs I am still discovering ("Brown Sugar", "Got My Mojo Working"). If I encounter a new band, I can fall in love with one or two songs, and merely like the rest ("The Crystal Frontier" by Calexico is the perfect example). The new artists in my record rotation are mostly dead bluesmen and women (Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, the not-quite-dead-yet Etta James).
I still get wild in concert, I still wanna have a band, but I wonder, why is it that new artists don't attract me like old ones. I listened to the new bands, and I sort of like their material, which they so clearly ripped off from better bands. Not to name names, of course, but there's a certain New York Quattro which is a direct cross between the Velvets, the Stooges and the Smith. Am I turning into an old cynic?
Just when I was about to conclude that it IS me, the White Stripes came and saved my day.
I'm not quite sure when I decided that the White Stripes where not just another band, but a major artistic group that deserves my attention. I've been downloading stuff and listening to them in record shops. It might have been as early as when I first heard "Sugar Never Tasted So Good". I cringe thinking it may have been as late as when I fell in love with the Pixies vs. The Stones of "Seven Nation Army". But it happened.
The White Stripes have officially entered my pantheon of great bands; They are up there with the Who and Husker Du, I AM KLOOT and Jon Spencer, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix and Soul Coughing and the Pixies. Some of these are better and some less so, but they are all classicists. Welcome to the club.
If you want a testament on why the Stripes deserve this sort of company, if you want to hear what great Rock'n'Roll is all about, you couldn't do much better then 'White Blood Cells'
Beginning with Alternative rocker 'Dead Leaves on a Dirty Ground', with hard, bluesy riffs, White Blood Cell is a pleasure. Some songs are better then others, but there's not a band card in the mix. The single "Fell in Love with a Girl" is a classic, as is "I Think I smell a Rat". "Now Mary", "Expecting" and "Offend in Every Way" are also hard rocking highlights.
Maybe my favorite is the offbeat, spooky "The Union Forever". Starting with a whisper ("You said the union forever"), it continues into a headlong punk screamer, where Jack White releases his frustration on the world "but that was UN---TRUE girl! that was UN-TRUE!!!")
From first to last, The White Stripes produced a fine album. They didn't save Rock'n'Roll - it doesn't need saving. But the White Stripes continue a great tradition, and make amazing music. Enjoy.
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