Wednesday, January 27, 2010

47. White Blood Cells – White Stripes (2002)

There’s a freedom to being a young rock duo modernizing a blues-rock tradition no one’s touched since, what, Zeppelin? And that’s exactly what White Blood Cells feels like - a blank canvas of negative space being coloured in with archaic-sounding electrics, pounding drums, white, red and lots of rash decisions (‘Little Room’, anyone?). Although in hindsight it seems a bit conservative, the foundation of their style was already concreted and tracks like ‘I’m Finding It Harder to Be a Gentleman’ and ‘The Boy You’ve Always Known’ are prime examples of Jack White’s growing songwriting voice. Perhaps just as importantly, Jack and Meg were matching the quality of their songs with a lightheartedness that has proven to stretch all the way to the metal-antics of Icky Thump. When ‘Fell In Love With a Girl’ first hit the airwaves, did anyone expect the White Stripes to outlive their equally untested colleagues (The Hives, The Strokes, The Vines) to become one of the most successful American bands of the decade? That stardom began right here.

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