Sound — 10
For anyone with some previous experience with the White Stripes' music, it will become immediately apparent that this is not your bog standard White Stripe CD. Though it was admittedly not what I was expecting, each track got me more and more hyped. The White Stripes use a variety of new instruments, including xylophone (The Nurse), much more piano than in previous albums (My Doorbell, Denial Twist, etc) and banjo (Little Ghost) which makes for a wonderfully varied and experimental CD. Jack has also appeared to play with the recording and sound of many of the songs; most apparent in Take, Take, Take, where Jack layers and staggers his voice to great effect. We also have Jack's unique voice, though he has made it a little higher, to boot. The sound in this album may be a little wackier than the others, but this is by no means a bad thing, and made for an incredible end result.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics in this album were particularly striking. Jack created some truly epic lines, my personal favorite being 'If you think holding hands is all in the fingers, Grab hold of the soul where the memory lingers' - Denial Twist. Just full, well rounded, coherent, flowing lyrics throughout really. Good solid choruses support well developed verses, to create what have to be, in my opinion, some of Jack's stronger works.
Overall Impression — 10
As I mentioned before, this is not a classic White Stripes album, and definitely displays the true extent of Jack's abilities. Coupled with Megs faithful drum banging, which is extended to some tambourine and maraca work, it certainly holds its own against the other classic Stripes albums. My all time favorite songs from this CD are Denial Twist, for the very real theme and mind-blowing lyrics, The Nurse, the first time I heard it I laughed through it solidly, which may not have been the idea, but I just loved the disjointed guitar parts, and Jack's slightly ominous vocals, and Ugly as I Seem, for it's gorgeous guitar, and slightly Zepplin-ish sound. If I could change anything about this CD, I would have liked to hear some of Jack's powerful catchy guitar rifts. However, I accept that this was not the point of this album, and so can live with their absences. As for whether I would buy this CD again if I lost it, I listened to it for several days straight, in my rather dubious CD player, which ended up scratching it, so I have actually already bought another copy. Money well spent in my opinion.