Sound — 10
If you know the Stripes, then you know what to expect, loud guitar and loud drums. However, Jack does alot more on this record than before. There is a greater use of piano and electric piano, more overdubbed vocals, and definitely more guitar solos. That is probably the greatest part about this album is the solos. The Stripe's traditional blues sound disappears for most of the album, but when it is used (the magnificent "Ball And Biscuit"), it is used to perfection. As usual, Meg bangs away at her kit same as always, simplistic and loud.
Lyrics — 10
Really great lyrics, at first glance, they don't make any sense, but under thought, the album tells a great story. In the liner notes, Jack says that "This album is dedicated to, and is for, and about the death of the sweetheart." The songs range from betrayal and paranoia (mega-hits "Seven Nation Army" & "The Hardest Button To Button"), to manipulation ("You've Got Her In Your Pocket"), MILF hunting ("I Want To Be The Boy"), and sexual euphimisms ("Ball And Biscuit"). If interpreted from begining to end, you can hear how each song contributes to the "death of the sweetheart" as Jack calls it.
Overall Impression — 10
This is the album that saved me from rock purgatory. After hearing this, I bought the other Stripes albums, which led to me to further investigate old blues players, like Robert Johnson, which in turn led me to EC, Hendrix, and SRV among others. The thing I love most about this album is probably that it's only the two players, and Jack refuses to use computers when producing it, it's real old-school. Top album of 2003 no doubt, and probably the outstanding rock record of the '00s.