Sound — 10
2nd record from the White Stripes, and in my opinion, the most indie sounding one they have. The debut was raw, the two that follow this one are cleaned up, and the new one is enigmatic. This one really has a great indie sound to it. Clean guitar riffs, distorted rhythm licks, bang-bang Meg White drumming, and even auxilary items too. A harmonica and an electric violin make an appearance. Also, this album has a few really good jams too. Personally my favorite sounding Stripes album (although I haven't really decided my opinion on the new album yet).
Lyrics — 8
You can hear Jack coming in to his own here as a song writer. On "Little Bird," he sings the blues about how hes never letting his women go. From helping out his girl friends ("Apple Blossom," "Truth Doesn't Make A Noise," "You're Pretty Good Looking"), to the pain of leaving ("I'm Bound To Pack It Up"), even to the confusion of suicide ("Why Can't You Be Nicer To Me?"), Jack spreads his songwriting wings. Sure, there may be a few throw-away tunes ("Hello Operator," "Jumble-Jumble"), but Jack makes up for that. Two songs, "Your Southern Can Is Mine" (Blind Willie McTell) and "Death Letter" (the great Son House) are old blues covers. "Death Letter" features a really great jam session about a minute long (rare these days), and is probably my favorite Stripes song ever.
Overall Impression — 10
A very strong album that was a necessary building block in their advancement. After this record, they built up enough popularity to warrant a major label signing, which they released "White Blood Cells" on, which in turn blew them up and launched them into the mainstream. I really don't understand why no one has commented on this yet. This was the album that vaulted Jack and Meg from king and queen of indie-rock to king and queen of rock'n'roll.