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Elephant

The White Stripes

2003

Buy At Rough Trade
Elephant
Album Summary

Elephant is the fourth studio album by the American rock duo the White Stripes. It was released on April 1, 2003, through V2, XL, and Third Man. The album garnered critical acclaim and commercial success, earning a nomination for Album of the Year and a win for Best Alternative Music Album at the 46th Grammy Awards in 2004, peaking at number six in the US Billboard charts and topping the UK album charts. In later years, the album has often been cited as the White Stripes' best work and one of the best albums of the 2000s; Rolling Stone magazine ranked it 390th on its list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time", and later the fifth-best of the decade. Third Man Records released a limited edition red, black and white vinyl reissue of Elephant on April 20, 2013, in celebration of the album's 10-year anniversary, as a Record Store Day exclusive. The special edition 2013 Record Store Day, and August 2013 180-gram black vinyl reissues were pressed at United Record Pressing in Nashville, TN.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.86

Votes

12890
Genres
Rock

Reviews

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Sun Jan 24 2021
5

Elephant is massive and has long tusks. Thundering through the forest right off the bat with Seven Nation Army, this album has no gaps but does allow room for breathers. In The Cold, Cold Night is a beautifully chilling song that was on bedtime mixtapes I made for my girls when they were little, and You've Got Her In Your Pocket is a heartbreaking love song of insecurity and control that somehow is still tender and sweet. However, the heartrate isn't lowered for much time as Ball & Biscuit, The Hardest Button to Button, Little Acorns, and subsequent followers strike hard like a voltage surge with Meg-n-Jack signature grinding grooves and beats that trigger electric joy. Sometimes when spinning this album, organic dance spasms have been known to induce. Elephant is definitely one of my favorite rock albums of all time and the one that caused me to step back to their prior 3, and never lose sight of what these two were up to moving forward. May we all follow in the footsteps of Janet, who allowed the squirrel to teach her about breaking this sometimes-overwhelming life down into piles and take one acorn at a time! ***I'll never forget Jack's innovative 2014 set at Bonnaroo. Ben and I were jumping like kids for a VERY long time.

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Fri Sep 03 2021
5

One of my all-time favorites, from start to finish. I bet Jack and Meg White looked at Karen and Richard Carpenter and said, "They have to be fucking with us. The Carpenters aren't really brother and sister. They're a twisted married couple! Genius!" If you look at some of the Carpenter's album covers, it's not such a stretch. And that's exactly what Jack and Meg decided to do. They put up a front of being brother and sister, when they were actually husband and wife. Jack would even take Meg's last name (presumably because Jack White sounded way cooler than Jack Gillis). Their marriage apparently ended in divorce 3 years before this release, but that didn't stop these crazy kids from keeping the whole brother/sister act going. Jack would continue to introduce his "big sister" Meg in concerts. Like Karen Carpenter, Meg was the drummer (but rarely sang, although she does have lead vocals here on “In The Cold, Cold Night”). And Jack oversaw all the musical arrangements in a Richard sort of way. But that's where any similarities to the Carpenters (real or pseudo) end. The Stripes slap, and slap in a big way. One can argue there's been no better recent purveyor of the Blues than Jack White. And his "sister" is the secret sauce. No one keeps the beat like Meg. "Elephant" was their big break through, perfectly blending elements of classic rock and the blues, and even taking a Hal David/Burt Bacharach oldie and making it their own. You already know the classic “Seven Nation Army”. And you’re probably familiar with “Ball and Biscuit” even if you haven’t seen "The Social Network". Even the deep cuts are bangers here. I'll take the "Seven Nation Army/Black Math/There's No Home for You Here" opening trifecta over almost any other album's first three songs. The Spotify link here took me to an older version of this classic that didn't have "Hypnotize" for some odd reason. Be sure to listen to the full album. It's on the short list of the best albums of the last 20 years.

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Mon Mar 22 2021
3

I came into this review thinking of the White Stripes as a pale imitation of the Rolling Stones. I'd heard them before in passing, but didn't really pay much attention. Listening to Elephant, it's apparent that leader Jack White is very much his own man. Elephant is elemental music, painted in primary colors. There is no shading to speak of. The instrumentation is unadorned aside from a little distortion here, a little reverb or echo there. The song structures and melodies are dead simple, but very hooky. Beyond this music being rock, I really didn't pick up on any of the influences I would have suspected, like the Stones or Marc Bolan. There's no blues until you get to the 8th song. Then, with the cover of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's I Don't Know What To Do With Myself, it becomes clear. On Elephant, The Whites Stripes are making pop music with the attitude and instrumentation of rock. But do they do it well? There's no doubt that The White Stripes perform with conviction. They have something specific to offer, and they put it across cleanly and with a minimum of artifice. But I don't really dig it. First off, I like the blues and rock without it seems kind of besides the point to me, but that's probably just because I'm old. More damaging, Jack White's musicianship is downright primitive. While there's nothing wrong with Jack White's imagination or ears, I prefer my musicians more technically accomplished, and my music more complex, more shaded. One listen in, and you'll have gotten pretty much everything there is to get out of Elephant. There's not much point in listening to it a second time. Still, I wouldn't skip over these songs if they turned up on a playlist. I'll give Elephant credit for being pleasant and for accomplishing what Jack White set out to do. He aims low and hits the target.

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Tue Oct 13 2020
5

This is the album that allowed the band to break through and become the legends they were destined to become. Jack White became the guitar god of a new generation and deserved the status. A hard blues rocking album, but with Jack's twists that gave blues rock a new sound and opened up the ears of the pop-drenched culture. He could be responsible for the vinyl and classic rock resurgence, but also gave hope to many that rock was far from dead.

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Mon Feb 15 2021
4

4Jack White is an undeniable talent and this album is mostly enjoyable but there are several moments where you can tell ol' Jackie Boy is just being wierd for the sake of weird. That's the thing that's made him the darling of the East Nashville scene but I personally find it annoying. Not so annoying that I can't enjoy the album but annoying nonetheless. The thing that really makes this album interesting to me is also the thing that makes Jack White interesting to me despite his eccentricities: the mixing. It deviates significantly from the established norms of "how to mix an album" and it stands out as very different from its contemoraries. I believe that unorthodox approach to mixing is what has made Third Man Records such a powerhouse in the industry in such a short time. A Jack White joint just ... feels different. It stands out.

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Thu Feb 11 2021
5

Compelling from start to finish. A couple of annoyances that I could nitpick, but it's a great album. Best track: Seven Nation Army

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Mon May 24 2021
5

This album punched me right in the mouth from the get go with Seven Nation Army. I was familiar with the bass line to the song because it is played a lot at sporting events. I thought it was played out prior to today, but now I contend its wide spread use is justified by how much this song kicks ass. Holy shit the guitar sound for Ball and Biscuit is sublime (chef’s kiss to the effects and amp set up), and the vocals are a call back to some super sultry Led Zeppelin tracks. Black Math and Hypnotize are punk inspired songs I can get behind. Now let’s go break some stuff. Additionally there are several tracks without the familiar distorted, guitar driven sound that are most excellent like: In the Cold, Cold Night; I Want to Be the Boy; and the last track, Well It’s True That We Love One Another, which is a playful, refreshing end to the album. The drums are never at the forefront on the album, yet they are solid and perfectly support the overall sound. Overall this album is a great reminder that often times less is more. The stripped down nature of both the musical parts, and having only two members, really allows the parts that are present to shine through quite brightly. A revelation…bravo!

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Sun Dec 11 2022
4

What have I done to appease the generator and have such a solid run of albums of the last 10 days (with one notable Kanye-sized exception)? Is it the ritualistic imbibing of wheat grass juice I’ve adopted in the generator’s honor? Perhaps it’s the sage burning I took part in to rid my abode of the evil spirits of recommendations past? (I’m looking at you, “Blood and Chocolate” by Elvis Costello and ABC’s “Lexicon of Love”) More likely, it’s the generator taking pity upon me for the horrors I’ve had to endure over the last 150+ records…The generator has seen my suffering and is now rewarding me, graciously, with a reprieve. All hail our benevolent album generating overlord, whose limitless bounty enriches even the smallest man. Now that I’ve given thanks, I turn to the album recommendation at hand: “Elephant” by The White Stripes. Unless you live under a rock or come from an alternate dimension, you at least have an awareness of the White Stripes. Their bare bones, explosive brand of blues based garage rock is so ubiquitous in 2022 that you can’t go to a sporting event in America (and much of the world) without hearing “Seven Nation Army”. “Elephant” is solid from front to back and might be the perfect encapsulation of their sound over their career, but it runs a bit long for me. As a personal preference, I think around 40 minutes is the perfect album length, especially for a band like the White Stripes, whose love of vinyl is well documented. A record like this, explosive as it can be, you want it to come on, sock you in the face and leave you wanting more. By the end of Elephant, I was glad it it was over. Not because I didn’t enjoy it, but because it started to feel like it was repeating itself.

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Tue May 04 2021
3

I was never a big fan. I know they covered up for their lack of bass in the studio with clever EQ and layering of guitars, but their live sound was dismal. I believe Jack White has made much better music post-White Stripes. Giving them three stars because they still had some nice riffs and rocking tunes here and there.

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Wed Apr 07 2021
5

From the iconic opening baseline of “Seven Nation Army” through to the lighthearted closer “Its true that we love one another”, Elephant is an explosive mixture of ferocity and subtlety. Meg’s under appreciated drumming is minimal but integral to the alchemy, constantly and relentlessly driving the record forward. “Black Math” is frenetic from start to finish with its blistering solo leaving you breathless. “You’ve got her in your pocket” is an example of Jack’s great song writing, “Little Acorns” too an example of his inventiveness. His lyrics are clever, at times dark and humorous, standing out in particular against the menacing, rumbling bass on “it’s a cold, cold night”. The electrifying “girl, you’ve got no faith in medicine” is everything a garage rock song should be, punchy and instantly gratifying, whereas on the the blues epic “ball and biscuit” Jack White teases and toys with us, showcasing his guitar playing prowess in the most aggressive fashion imaginable. In the early 2000s You simply couldn’t escape The White Stripes. The question is, why would you have wanted to?

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Fri Jul 22 2022
2

The first song obviously iconic, known to everyone, then the rest super underwhelming overall

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Thu May 20 2021
5

Tuttu entuudestaan ja ei todellakaan haitannut kuunnella taas. White Stripes on vaan kova!

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Fri Mar 29 2024
5

The best thing about the White Stripes is that they weren’t afraid to sound sloppy—extra notable because the 2000s was probably the most “polished” sounding decade for popular music. They would come out of the gate with music that was loud, manic, and really rocked, making them one of the last truly huge rock bands. And “Elephant” certainly has cemented its place in the canon of great rock albums, largely thanks to its lead single, “Seven Nation Army,” which features a guitar riff so iconic, it feels crazy that it hadn’t already been written. Jack White’s vocals and guitar work always feel like a clear homage to Led Zeppelin, but nevertheless, he and Meg always manage to be their own thing. Now, as for my rating, I was planning to give it 4 stars, but I didn’t know why. In fact, I must admit that this is a better album than some I’ve given 5 stars to. So I gave it a second listen, and I think considering the pacing, the variety, and the special thing this was upon its release, I’m giving it the full 5.

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Tue Apr 09 2024
5

Nice. Even if you skip "seven nation army", it's a very solid album.

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Tue Apr 09 2024
4

Okay so.. popularity rot for the opening track.. and 3 tracks in I was almost ready to throw in the towel not liking this.. BUT.. In the cold cold night flips a switch in my mind, switches up the vibes a bit and I throughly enjoyed the album thereafter. In the cold cold night sets such a chill riding with the windows down at midnight vibe, and it's just fuckin awesome. I also enjoyed "I want to be the boy" and "Ball and biscuit" the riffing on ball and biscuit is nuts! I know for a fact this is an album that will grow even more over time, so it's deff getting bookmarked.

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Tue May 04 2021
3

The album started of with a famous Darts intro song. I think the cover of 'I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself' does right to all the other covers of this song. Did not know that that song was first recorded by Chuck Jackson in 1962. I think this Album is alright although I don't know The White Stripes to much. 'In The Cold Cold Night' made me think of the sound of the Doors, 60 70 sound. Very nice. After these songs the album got me. And the use of a slide gitar makes it even better. The loud hardrock passages are not my favourites. I could endure them as I was intreged by this abum.

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Tue Jun 20 2023
3

Glad I listened to this. I hadn’t before. However, aside from the obvious seven nation army it didn’t really grab me as anything new. Solid but not really a standout.

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Sat Jul 29 2023
3

Seven Nation Army is one of the best songs ever made. The rest of the album got kind of monotonous to listen to, though.

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Tue Jan 26 2021
2

Aparte del Seven Nation Army este disco me gusta pero no me entusiasma. Lo escuché en su época con muchas ganas y me decepcionó. Hoy sigo opinando lo mismo. (el tema 11 Hypnotise o Hypnotize no estaba disponible en Spotify pero si en Youtube y por cierto es otro de los interesantes de este disco)

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Wed Jan 27 2021
2

Seven Nation Army is on the album. Mostly alright though I never cared for Jack White. 5/10.

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Mon Jun 21 2021
2

Off this evidence The White Stripes were more concept than conceptualisers, so aside from a couple of killer tracks (Seven Nation Army, obvs, but also Black Math, in which Jack plays the guitar like a washboard and a cheese grater) these are mostly genial but part-formed blues-rock etudes. In other words, too much jam in this donut.

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Fri May 07 2021
2

Can't say I loved it. A little too much talk-singing for my taste. Do enjoy the crunchy sound and some catchy riffs in several songs.

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Sat Dec 24 2022
2

"If you study the picture carefully, Meg and I are elephant ears in a head-on elephant. But it's a side view of an elephant, too, with the tusks leading off either side." - Jack White This guy was smoking some fucking insane kush, because I've been staring at the cover for the past 30 minutes and I don't see anything that even slightly resembles an elephant. I'm not a fan of The White Stripes. Their only good song is "Seven Nation Army" and putting it as the first song of the album only meant that it was downhill all the way.

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Tue Aug 29 2023
2

already listened, didn’t resonate with it much… except for a few of the songs, it became redundant for me

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Fri Oct 21 2022
1

Jaha oli joku suosittu biisi.. olikos.. heheh ve vill ve vill rock you biisi... tais olla... Heh.... Joku biisi... Heh.. ensimmäisenä... heh... Sen jälkeen.. SONNAN SOITATUSTA!!!.. Noh.. sentään saman tyylistä.. palpatusta.. kuppaloppalointia... pippulpapsulaa... Intialaisia,,, viisaita: "Elephant is elemental music, painted in primary colors. There is no shading to speak of. The instrumentation is unadorned aside from a little distortion here, a little reverb or echo there." "- - these are mostly genial but part-formed blues-rock etudes. In other words, too much jam in this donut." Tekninen puoli:..... Ei bassoa

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Tue Oct 06 2020
5

I mean it's The White Stripes. Of course you love them.

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Thu Nov 26 2020
5

The Sound of garage rock This is how to write ‘stripped back’ rock songs Guitars and drums are rarely flashy but work for the song 100% ‘Deep cuts’ are probably even better than the hits Guitar tones manage to sound classic yet heavy as hell and somehow up to date Ball and Biscuit is a rock classic One of the 2000s best rock albums

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

Sounds like Scott Pilgrim music. Also bluesy

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Tue Feb 02 2021
5

Great blues hard rock album, gotta love seven nation army and hardest button to button

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Tue Feb 16 2021
5

This album was foundational for me in high school. It's nice to know it still holds up as a fantastic visceral listen from start to finish.

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Thu May 13 2021
5

Never listened to one of their album, no regrets, was really good. I'll dig deeper in it

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Mon Mar 22 2021
5

Great album with a few exceptional songs.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

FANTASTIC. LOVE THE WHITE STRIPES

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Mon Mar 01 2021
5

Jack takes the blues to another place. I love everything he does

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Tue Feb 23 2021
5

Hard riffs, stripped back blues. Simple drums that complement the brilliant songwriting. Another classic. Jack white is a legend

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Mon May 10 2021
5

I love this garage rock masterpiece

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Mon Feb 01 2021
5

Always a classic. Fantastic all the way through

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Tue Jan 26 2021
5

Most songs worth listening to. Gets repetitive in the middle but finished strong!

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Sun Jan 17 2021
5

Almost missed today. This album is awesome. Got lots of Jack White on my phone. I hope Meg is well. There are at least 2 covers covers for the album. 1 with a black dress and one white with flipped image.

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

A record for which I am very familiar given the number of singles released. I had never listened to it completely or in running order. Somehow it all works magnificently. Meg's drumming actually accents the sound on this record giving it just enough garage with the simple pounding beat. Like a clock.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

Never expected to like 80 percent of this album

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Fri May 28 2021
5

Excellent, brash, swaggering, bluesy garage rock. So many great tracks, but have to go with "Seven Nation Army" as a fave!

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Tue Jan 19 2021
5

Used to listen to this a lot! Highlights include ‘I just don’t know what to do with myself’, ‘you’ve got her in you pocket’, ‘the hardest button to button’ and of course the epic ‘7 nation army’. Cracker!

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Thu May 13 2021
5

Muito mais que um vício Muito mais que amor Não é o puto do grêmio É o Rolo Compressor

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Thu May 13 2021
5

a masterpiece on how to turn silly songs into classics

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Wed Mar 10 2021
5

obsessed with White Stripes when this came out.

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Mon Feb 15 2021
5

Uno de los grandes clasicos.

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Tue Feb 16 2021
5

Not listened to this for years. Still sounds brilliant and fresh.

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Thu Mar 04 2021
5

Excelente, totalmente de mi gusto

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Mon Jun 14 2021
5

Has aged like a fine wine. Still amazes me the breadth of noise and creativity that Jack and Meg produced. Top of my list of "bands that should reform" alongside Pulp and Pavement

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

Love Jack. Great way to kick off. One of my favorite albums.

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Sat Apr 10 2021
5

Such a great album that brings backs a lot of mems. There was a good couple of years when these guys were my favourite band and it’s nice to re-listen to it with fresh ears. Still sounds fresh. The sound they created was massively unique. Some classic White Stripe tracks on here. Love it.

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Sat Feb 27 2021
5

Nostalgic Garage/Retro Rock from the turn of the century.

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Sun May 02 2021
5

Saved Prior: Seven Nation Army Not Saved Tier: 14. You've Got Her In Your Pocket 13. Little Acorns Cutting Edge: 12. Ball and Biscuit Saved: 11. Well It's True That We Love One Another (don't know why there's a minute of silence at the end of this one, would've been higher) 10. Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine 9. There's No Home For You Here 8. In The Cold, Cold Night 7. I Want To Be The Boy To Warm Your Mother's Heart 6. Black Math 5. The Hardest Button To Button 4. Hypnotize (if only it was longer!) 3. The Air Near My Fingers 2. Seven Nation Army 1. I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself Overall Notes: I had prior exposure to Seven Nation Army and Hardest Button To Button, so I was expecting this to be an out and out rocker. Was a lot more nuanced and personal than that, and it was better for it. Didn't absolutely adore any of the songs, but this was an incredible album regardless. A low-end five, but 11/14 saved songs speaks for itself.

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Wed Apr 07 2021
5

The only complaint I have about this album is that the White Stripes aren’t still around. Brilliant dirty blues rock n roll - too many great songs to list and barely a foot wrong throughout

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Wed Apr 07 2021
5

As amazing, fresh and fun as the first time I listened to it 👌🙌

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Fri Jun 25 2021
5

Peut être le plus grand album des années 2000 Ball and Biscuit, seven nation army, hardest button to button, black math, i just don't know what to do with myself, girl you have no faith in medicine, there's no home for you here, Little acorns Jack White est un des plus grands artistes de tous les temps

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Mon Mar 29 2021
5

Obviously the best and most known White Stripes album. This deserves an instant 5, as the impact it had on my musical life is immense.

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Mon Mar 29 2021
5

So many amazing songs. One of the best albums of all time.

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Tue Apr 27 2021
5

First track an absolute classic banger. Few tracks in and it feels like a 4, I know a few of the tracks already and rate them. Gettin towards the end and I've added loads of tracks to my playlist, I'm torn whether it's a 4 or a 5 just cos I've enjoyed it so much. Prob a 5.

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Wed Mar 10 2021
5

This album slaps, so so good!

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Sun Jul 18 2021
5

Great album with a few top tracks

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Wed Jul 14 2021
5

MASTERPIECE ♥️♥️♥️♥️

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Wed May 26 2021
5

Know this one reasonably well - peak grad school.

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Mon May 24 2021
5

I mean, with the album kicking off with the bassline from "Seven Nation Army," what more could you want? And a clear indication that what would follow would be masterful. An amazing blend of blues and garage rock, by the best 2-person rock group since Local H (and then the Black Keys would come along a few years later!). I could go on and on about every track on this album - its one of the absolute best. Easy 5 stars, no reservations.

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Fri May 14 2021
5

One of the greats. No bs rock and roll.

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Mon May 31 2021
5

Loved it. Very good driving album. Blues, screeching guitars.

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Sat Jun 05 2021
5

One of the best rock albums of the last 20 years. Every riff feels new, original, and powerful. The songwriting is hooky and memorable. I can’t speak highly enough about the album.

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Sun May 16 2021
5

Already know it! Spectacular album. Full of rocky and chill Songs! And of course it starts off with Seven Nation Army, what a banger! :D

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Mon May 24 2021
5

If there's one thing that I learned by listening to this album it's that half-assing it works well for Jack and Meg. Highlights include Ball and a Biscuit, No Home for you Here, Black Math and Little Acorns. I feel like at a show when I listen to this. So good. So much more to say, but taking a page from their book and half-assing this review.

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Fri Jun 04 2021
5

Refined yet raw. It's amazing how powerful and driving it is almost 20 years later.

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Mon Jun 21 2021
5

Seven Nation Army was the biggest rock song of my youth and it still rips! There's no skips, and the pacing is fantastic. Meg killing it on In The Cold, Cold Night is an added bonus. 5 stars!

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Mon Jun 21 2021
5

Where do you begin? An album that to this day still is absolutely fantastic. The white stripes have consistently put out amazing albums and finally got the recognition they deserved with Elephant. Ball and a biscuit *chef kiss*

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Thu Aug 12 2021
5

one of the most iconic guitar riffs of all time, on one of the most revolutionary rock albums of the early 2000s 😘#period #y2k

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Tue Aug 24 2021
5

Such a great start to an album!

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Wed Aug 25 2021
5

We’re the red and blue army…

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Fri Sep 10 2021
5

Let’s have a ball and biscuit and give this album 5 stars

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Mon Sep 20 2021
5

not really a bad song on this one, five stars!

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Fri Sep 24 2021
5

I was worried that this might just be "other songs released with seven nation army", but actually enjoyed the rest much more than the overplayed first track.

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Fri Sep 24 2021
5

Great album, Jack hits that guitar with all sorts of sounds

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Mon Sep 27 2021
5

You cant really go round with anything that starts with Seven Nation Army and covers I just dont know what to do with myself....

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Tue Oct 12 2021
5

A stone-cold classic. No more words needed.

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