The White Stripes Review

artist: white stripes date: 07/21/2008 category: compact discs
white stripes: The White Stripes
Released: June 15, 1999
Genre: Rock
Styles: Indie Rock, Garage Rock Revival
Number Of Tracks: 17
In fact, the White Stripes sound like arena rock as hand-crafted in the attic.
 Sound: 9.1
 Lyrics: 8.4
 Overall Impression: 9.1
 Overall rating:
 8.9 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.9 
 Users rating:
 8.8 
 Votes:
 45 
reviews (7) 10 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9
The White Stripes Reviewed by: FrenchyFungus, on march 10, 2006
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: WOW, I bought this because I own and love all their other albums and the DVD, and was expecting a raw, very unproduced, simple, minimalistic debut album that was disappointing compared to the others. I got a raw, very unproduced, simple, minimalistic debut album that was better than all the others, except (maybe) Elephant. There, really is no way to describe how such a simple album can hit you so hard, make you want to pick up a guitar and sing along. From the opening pounding drums of 'Jimmy the Exploder', to the sweet slide guitar of 'I Fought Piranhas', this album is amazing. Imagine 'White Blood Cells + the heavier songs from Elephant - production - solos = this album'. The lack of solos shouldn't worry you however, as 'When I Hear My Name' is perhaps one of the most complex songs they've recorded, and the sheer awesomeness of the riffs makes up for it anyway. For the De Stijl lovers, I direct you to the simply beautiful acoustic tune 'Sugar Never Tasted So Good' and the cover of 'One More Cup of Coffee', originally by Bob Dylan, which sees Jack playing the Piano. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics, are great, although perhaps not so good as the ones on later albums. Most of the songs are clearly based on Jack's personal experiences in Detroit. 'The Big Three Killed My Baby', for example tells of a local garage owner driven out of business by the large corporate companies Ford, General Motors and Chevrolet. Also, 'Screwdriver' and 'Broken Bricks' are very straight to the point with the lyrics. However, the eccentricity clearly shows in other songs. 'Astro' namechecks several famous electricity pioneers, whilst 'Jimmy The Exploder' contains lines such as 'Green apples are gonna be exploding now' In my opinion, Jack is simply one of the best vocalists ever, and with the raw sound of this album, he shines. Maybe it is too raw for some, and I personally prefer the vocals on Elephant, but this album is certainly another strong point for him. // 8

Overall Impression: I love this album, and wouldn't hesitate to buy it again if it got even the slightest scratch. If you're reading this, you're obviously familiar with the Stripes, and considering getting this. I can tell you you shouldn't be disappointed. Anyone who only has 'Get Behind Me Satan', however, I suggest gets 'De Stijl', 'Elephant' and 'White Blood Cells' first. // 9

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overall: 9.3
The White Stripes Reviewed by: LedDaveZeppelin, on february 06, 2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: This self-titled album was the White Stripes first, and one of the best albums they have out. Compared to other White Stripes CDs this has definitely more of a raw sound. Most songs consisting of only one or two dirty sounding guitars with rather simple drum beat backing them. Jack uses different open tunings and uses a slide in some songs, which also give this album a nice blues sound as well. The guitar riffs thoroughout this album were awesome, they were somewhat simple but they were catchy as hell. // 10

Lyrics: As far as the lyrics go, I think they were good. For the most part I didn't really understand them in the majority of the songs. But there is no doubt in my mind that the lyrics mean something to Jack White. Even if this whole album made no sense at all lyrically, Jack would make up for it with his musical ability and the way he sings the lyrics. Jack sings with such passion and emotion. Personally I think Jack White is a great singer, but I know many people would disagree with me on that. // 9

Overall Impression: This is not my favorite White Stripes album but it is a great album full of great tunes. It really is a must have for any and all White Stripes fans. It is a lot different from all their later albums, but that's one of the reasons I like it so much. If I ever lost this CD I would definitely buy it again. // 9

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overall: 9.3
The White Stripes Reviewed by: Laser, on june 17, 2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Wow, their first (and self-titled) album, and probably my favorite. It's raw garage rock blues. I'ts just wonderful. The album was produced fully without using computers, and was done all on their own recording label before they got a bigger one. Indy rock at its best. Jack's elaborant, yet somehow simple guitar playing and Meg's rudimentary drums compliment the sound very much. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics make no sense at all. Though some have a story, for example: The Big Three Killed My Baby is about how a big company took over a local detroit autoshop. Though they in some cases make no sense, somehow jack pulls them off. They are wonderful, and his voice. There is jsut something about the sound of his voice, it sounds like he is going through puberty, but hes a full-grown 28 year old man. // 8

Overall Impression: Like I said, my favorite out of all their other albums. I love the style of the album, its just so RAW. It's very simplistic, its very bare, but they make it seem full somehow. It's an irreplacable album in my collection, I don't know what I would do without it. (That may be an exaggeration, but it is good.) If you liked their other albums, you iwll almost certainly love this one. Hell, even if you didn't like the other album, I highly recommend this one. The best songs off the album, that emulate the feel of the album, would be "When I Hear My Name" "Do" "Jimmy The Exploder" and a cover of Bob Dylan's "One More Cup of Coffee" and "I Fought Pirhanas" with a guest appearance from Johnny Walker. Go but it! // 10

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overall: 9.3
The White Stripes Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 24, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This was the first album by The White Stripes, and you can tell. Even though the sound quality is low, it completely fits their style. I like this cd more than White Blood Cells and Elephant, actually, because it's just so raw. Jack White's guitar is good yet he doesn't show off with it. (What I mean is, the solos actually have meaning and feeling to them, instead of 2000 bpm tapping solos). // 8

Lyrics: The lyrics in the songs actually make no sense, but Jack White makes them make sense with the way he sings it. You can actually hear the feeling in his voice, and that alone is enough to tell the story for you. I especially like the lyrics for "one More Cup Of Coffee," and "Broken Bricks." Viewing the lyrics on Paper, they are completely pointless. But in a song, Jack White uses his bluesy rock guitar to describe the feel of the lyrics. // 10

Overall Impression: This cd doesn't compare to todays mainstream cd's, because the way they recorded this is completely different than normal bands. It was recorded in a small-time detroit studio, which completely adds a different feel to what youre listening to. Some of my favorite songs from the album are "Astro," "I Fought Pirhanas," "When I Hear My Name" and "The Big 3." If I lost this cd, I would first break down in tears, then buy another one. This cd really doesnt compare to anything else I've listened to. // 10

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overall: 8
The White Stripes Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 04, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This album has a distinctive raw sound to it, being recorded with traditional equipement. This, however, is no bad thing, matching Jack White's opinion on how things should be done. There is a good balance between the more upbeat songs such as "Jimmy The Exploder" (a strange one about an angry monkey. Or something) and the slower more meaningful songs such as "Do". Amongst these are several covers including Robert Johnson's "Stop Breaking Down" and Bob Dylan's "One More Cup Of Coffee", and to me these stand out as not The White Stripe's own. Still, they do add a bit of variety and give an idea as to who exactly inspired the duo. I think I'm correct in saying that by listening to it, a lot of open 'A' and open 'E' tuning was used on this album, which gives quite a bluesy sound on some songs, especially the final two and "Suzy-Lee". If you ask me, it was used a bit too much, but I think it was recorded at a time when Jack White was heavily using slide and as a result relied on it a bit on this debut album. Overall however, a very raw, different, meaningful sound which I find to be pleasingly unique. // 8

Lyrics: Most seem to have the idea that the lyrics on this album are random words thrown together which don't seem to mean anything. I on the other hand can't help but feel that there is a lot of meaning behind them. They are just written in a different and somewhat cryptic way. In my opinion there are several songs that are about being a recluse, an introvert, and in these songs lie some of the best lyrics I have heard in a long time. Take "Do" for example: "It doesn't matter 'cos my eyes are lying and they don't show emotion don't want to be social can't take it when they hate me but I know there's nothing I can do". Pure genius. And then there are songs that use a metaphorical approach to get the message across, like the final "I Fought Pirhanas." I think that you do have to have the right kind of mind to appreciate the lyrics and the song's meanings, but if you do you will enjoy this album a lot more. // 8

Overall Impression: Overall, this is a great album. Definitely a keystone in my collection. I wouldn't, however, suggest purchasing this if it would be your first White Stripes album. After liking my first two, I brought this wanting to like it, and I therefore approached it with an open mind. This allowed me to see what it actually was rather than just shunning it for being different, which is what I believe many people would do if they expected something akin to Elephant or White Blood Cells. If this album was stolen from me, I'd go "Darn Those Pesky Thieves" before buying another. Simple as that. // 8

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overall: 9.3
The White Stripes Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 15, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Raw, gritty, lo-fi brilliance on the debut. Recorded in Jack's attic, giving it that perfect indie sound. Possibly the most focused album of theirs as well they don't stray too far from garage-rock and blues. By Jack's own words, the most "Detroit sounding album" they have. // 10

Lyrics: Lyrics aren't bad, not by a longshot. A couple covers ("One More Cup of Coffee," "Stop Breaking Down"), a few shining gems ("Wasting My Time," "Suzy Lee," "Screwdriver"), and one clunker that takes a five away from this score ("Little People"). Also, this album showcases Jack's best singing skills as well. // 8

Overall Impression: Fan favorite debut of the best band around today. It's cool to hear the foundation of their other works, and you can hear influences from this album in their new stuff as well. // 10

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overall: 8
The White Stripes Reviewed by: Drifting182, on july 21, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Faux brother-and-sister garage blues duo The White Stripes, composed of drummer Meg White and guitarist/singer Jack White heralded the revival of rock and roll along with the Strokes following a decade of increasingly derivative alternative. The White Stripes is a deliberately low-fi effort (just the first of Jack's many eccentricities, luckily for us, he'd outgrow this one) that production-wise doesn't sound better than most early '80s hardcore. Meg already has her primitive beat mastered (think the Velvet Underground's Mo Tucker here), but Jack doesn't yet have his massive array of guitar effects here. But honestly, all of this just creates a humble, authentic blues-rock record. Jack would later become a more competent rock songwriter, but never did he sound more sincere than right here. // 8

Lyrics: The album starts off with the 1-2 punch of "Jimmy the Exploder", a pounding garage stomper and a rocking cover of Robert Johnson's classic "Stop Breaking Down," using the Rolling Stones arrangement. "The Big Three Killed My Baby" is yet another winner, this time telling a humorous narrative of the Detroit auto industry (from where the Stripes hail). "Suzy Lee" takes us into slow blues territory, with Jack's slide guitar used to create a lazy atmosphere. "Sugar Never Tasted So Good" introduces us to the novelty acoustic Stripes song. Some enjoy these interludes, I've never been one of them. Luckily, the album launches back into garage blues soon enough, though the next couple songs reek of genericism. The next winner here is "Astro," a prime example of the Stooges' lasting influence in Detroit. The song is based on a simple riff and contains just one lyric - "Maybe does the Astro." Despite this, the song is short enough to avoid becoming repetitive. "Broken Bricks" is yet another basic rocker (this album is full of them), but it's memorable. "Do" starts off promising enough with a stolen Blind Melon lick, but the song fails to evolve, and it overstays it's welcome by about 2 minutes. The next track, "Screwdriver," is more notable for being completely ripped off by Jet a couple years later than for being a great song. The Dylan cover ("One More Cup of Coffee," from his 1976 album Desire) gives us another welcome break from the raw blues-rawk that dominates this album's midsection. Though Jack simplified the arrangement, presumably so he could sing and play guitar, the song is played with enough passion to render it as one of the more memorable Dylan covers recorded (though I wouldn't call it better than the original). The organ here augments the song nicely. A couple more generic blues-rockers follow (though it may just seem that way because they're overabundant on this album) until we get to the great cover of the traditional blues song "St. James Infirmary." Though Jack's piano playing here is rudimentary at best, Jack's charisma as a performer carries the song (arguably the best on the album). Things close up with "I Fought Piranhas," which starts off a deceptively slow blues accompanied by slide guitar before exploding in to garage rock madness. Overall, it's a great way to end a decent blues-rock effort. // 8

Overall Impression: Not surprisingly, this album did not sell well. It wouldn't be until the band's third album that they would finally achieve commercial success, but Jack's attempt to make a '60s garage blues album here comes off convincingly. The material here isn't as complex or mainstream as later albums, but it's an artistic statement, and a damned fun one at that. // 8

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More White Stripes reviews rating latest review
+ White Blood Cells 9.3 11/15/2011
+ Elephant 9.2 11/07/2011
+ De Stijl 9.5 02/07/2008
+ Icky Thump 9.4 07/23/2007
+ Get Behind Me Satan 8.7 07/07/2007
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