Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums – Week 4

For the decade of the 2020’s, I plan on listening to approximately one album per week from Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. I will be posting my brief thoughts on each album here.

#497 – White Blood Cells by The White Stripes

Sympathy for the Record Industry, 2001

We’ve reached the first album on Rolling Stone’s list that I had made my mind up about prior to listening for purposes of this experience. And my previous assessment won’t be a popular one: I strongly disliked this record. The only aspect of this album that I ever really cared for was “Fell in Love with a Girl,” and even that was more in thanks to the song’s awesome LEGOS-built music video, rather than based on the song itself.

Sadly, as much as I would love to say that age or maturity or whatever have made me see what’s so great about this album, such is not the case…. at all. I want to give Jack and Meg White the benefit of the doubt that this is mostly a matter of taste; I’ve never been much of a blues fan, and for me, blues-rock is somehow even less tolerable than straight-up blues. Nevertheless, I can’t help but think that Jack’s wild ideas and impassioned yelps could use extra production and polish, while I see little of value in Meg’s off-time, out-of-the-box drumming. I also don’t quite see the point of the one-guitarist/one-drummer “gimmick” when the band is so frequently buffing up the songs with layers of guitars, background synths/organs, and other subtle tricks.

All in all, the merits that so many people see in this album are lost on me.

Author’s Note: The reason I created this website and write these articles stems from my belief that artists should support other artists, in the same way that art inspires art. My debut album Unfall is out now, and I’d love for you to hear it.

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