This is the 4th in a series talking about my top 10 most important albums. You can see the beginning of the series here.
Today I’m sharing one of my favorite rock albums of all time.
This is the first album by the White Stripes. Plenty has been written about them, both good and bad. What people tend to hate about the group is what is seen as artificiality. I don’t agree with that assessment at all. The look is calculated but so were Bowie’s. I have no problem with bands managing their look and presence, especially when they have the musical chops to back it up.
This album is rock and roll stripped down to its most basic. Most of the songs are just a guitar and drums. Meg White’s drum playing has been widely criticized but I think that criticism is off base. Jack White has said that she played drums like a cave man but that wasn’t criticism. Her simple beats are the perfect foil to his huge blues riffs. Criticizing her because she isn’t Neil Piert or Buddy Rich just shows how little you understand the band.
In my opinion this may be the best sounding rock album of all time. The live experience of feeling the drums and having the guitar envelop you typifies the rock concert experience and solidifies the feel of the music. This album was recorded in such a way that you can feel like you are at a live show. Yes, the music is simple and not very deep but it feels incredible. I turn to this album whenever I want to feel alive and have a rock and roll experience.