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White Stripes
White Blood Cells
label: V2
released: 01.29.02
our score: 4.5 out of 5.0

Simple, Pure Garage Rock
by: bill aicher

Whoever thinks that rock music needs to be moving forward and finding new ways to express itself is an idiot, plain and simple. There's much to be said for pure, raw rock 'n' roll. It died a death years ago, slowly fading out into nothing more than a nostalgic memory. The White Stripes's latest album White Blood Cells shows just what we have been missing by letting garage rock as we knew it fade out.

Maybe it's because few groups have been able to succeed in this genre to the extent White Stripes and their predecessors have. Nonetheless, there is reason the world is beginning to sit up and take notice. There is reason White Stripes are all the buzz.

Whether it's the ragged guitar and tearing vocals of "Fell In Love With a Girl," the Black Sabbath-fueld "Expecting" or the alt-country twang of the oh-so-catchy "Hotel Yorba," it's evident that Jack and Meg White truly understand what they're doing. There's no sense of self-inflated egos - the album is pure rock 'n' roll - something that has been sadly missing for years now amidst the barrage of ghetto pop and nu-metal saturating the airwaves.

True, at times Jack White sounds strangely like Robert Plant, but it goes with the territory. White, like Plant does what comes naturally - the results are inevitable (and excellent). And Meg (Jack's ex-wife)'s crushing and exacting drums match the feel perfectly.

In the end White Blood Cells is proof you don't need more than a great guitarist/vocalist, a great drummer, and no fear of letting yourself go to make a truly superb rock album.

It's been a long time coming, but we gladly welcome White Stripes with open arms.
12-Feb-2002 5:30PM

If you liked White Blood Cells...

1. Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
2. Hotel Yorba
3. I'm Finding It Harder to be a Gentleman
4. Fell in Love with a Girl
5. Expecting
6. Little Room
7. The Union Forever
8. The Same Boy You've Always Known
9. We're Going to be Friends
10. Offend in Every Way
11. I Think I Smell a Rat
12. Aluminum
13. I Can't Wait
14. Now Mary
15. I Can Learn
16. This Protector