Album Details

RELEASE
July 03, 2001
LABEL
Sympathy for the Record Industry
GENRES
Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Garage Rock Revival, Blues-Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Punk Blues

Album Review

Despite the seemingly instant attention surrounding them -- glowing write-ups in glossy magazines like Rolling Stone and Mojo, guest lists boasting names like Kate Hudson and Chris Robinson, and appearances on national TV -- the White Stripes have stayed true to the approach that brought them this success in the first place. White Blood Cells, Jack and Meg White's third effort for Sympathy for the Record Industry, wraps their powerful, deceptively simple style around meditations on fame, love, and betrayal. As produced by Doug Easley, it sounds exactly how an underground sensation's breakthrough album should: bigger and tighter than their earlier material, but not so polished that it will scare away longtime fans. Admittedly, White Blood Cells lacks some of the White Stripes' blues influence and urgency, but it perfects the pop skills the duo honed on De Stijl and expands on them. The country-tinged "Hotel Yorba" and immediate, crazed garage pop of "Fell in Love With a Girl" define the album's immediacy, along with the folky, McCartney-esque "We're Going to Be Friends," a charming, school-days love song that's among Jack White's finest work. However, White's growth as a songwriter shines through on virtually every track, from the cocky opener "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" to vicious indictments like "The Union Forever" and "I Think I Smell a Rat." "Same Boy You've Always Known" and "Offend in Every Way" are two more quintessential tracks, offering up more of the group's stomping riffs and rhythms and us-against-the-world attitude. Few garage rock groups would name one of their most driving numbers "I'm Finding It Harder to Be a Gentleman," and fewer still would pen lyrics like "I'm so tired of acting tough/I'm gonna do what I please/Let's get married," but it's precisely this mix of strength and sweetness, among other contrasts, that makes the White Stripes so intriguing. Likewise, White Blood Cells' ability to surprise old fans and win over new ones makes it the Stripes' finest work to date.
Heather Phares, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Dead Leaves and the Dirty Groundhttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=275223092&id=275223056
  2. Hotel Yorbahttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=275223095&id=275223056
  3. I'm Finding It Harder to Be a Gentlemanhttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=275223099&id=275223056
  4. Fell in Love with a Girlhttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=275223102&id=275223056
  5. Expectinghttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=275223104&id=275223056
  6. Little Roomhttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=275223105&id=275223056
  7. The Union Foreverhttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=275223110&id=275223056
  8. The Same Boy You've Always Knownhttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=275223112&id=275223056
  9. We're Going to Be Friendshttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=275223114&id=275223056
  10. Offend in Every Wayhttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=275223118&id=275223056
  11. I Think I Smell a Rathttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=275223121&id=275223056
  12. Aluminumhttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=275223122&id=275223056
  13. I Can't Waithttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=275223125&id=275223056
  14. Now Maryhttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=275223128&id=275223056
  15. I Can Learnhttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=275223131&id=275223056
  16. This Protectorhttp://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=275223137&id=275223056
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