The White Stripes - Elephant - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The White Stripes - Elephant

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:2003-03-31

Jokingly referred to as the White Stripes' "British" album, Elephant is scattered with little cultural references that give away the fact it was recorded far from the duo's US home--just listen to the lyrics on "Seven Nation Army" ("..from the Queen of England to the hounds of Hell") or the album outro where someone chips in "jolly good, cup of tea?". But although there are some new twists here, from Meg discovering her voice to a tongue-in-cheek threesome with Holly Golightly, Elephant is no great departure; more a culmination of their preceding albums. Meg and Jack push their creativity (and the boundaries of their eight track) to new heights for the startling, Queen-inspired "There's No Home for You Here" while the (pedal-induced) deep bassline on "Seven Nation Army" is a classic indie dancefloor filler. But although some songs fly off into new realms there's plenty of that straight-up bluesy rock that makes the duo such an amazing prospect live--just listen to the sweat dripping off the overtly sexual "Ball and Biscuit". And amid all this there's that plaintive, resolutely unegotistical and yet theatrical voice that makes them so unique; when Jack cries out on "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" there's a dark desperation Bacharach and David certainly didn't put there. --Caroline Butler

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