Having heard all 5 White Stripes albums so far in their career, I can say that Elepaht is the White Stripes' strongest, most consistent effort, full of diversity, vibrance and catchy hooks.
The disc has been called the Stripes' "British album" and for good reason-at points, it echoes British greats like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. But, the disc is uniquely their own. No other band around today creates such a diverse musical platform as the White Stripes, whose sound ranges from folksy to bluesy to hard rockin'.
The opening track and single, Seven Nation Army, has the standard Stripes material: Catchy riff, Bonham'ish drumming and Jack White's high pitched vocals over top. It's immensely listenable.
Other rock songs include Black Math, which is a punk influenced track with some nice guitar work and a real drive, and The Hardest Button to Button, which may have the simplest guitar part of the year but is also very catchy.
Hypnotize, like the rock songs of White Blood Cells, is an up tempo, riff driven rocker, as is Girl, You Have No Faith of Medicine, which is perhaps the first songs in rock history to make use of the word 'acetomediphine'.
Ball and Biscuit is perhaps the strongest blues track Jack White's ever written. It's dirty, gritty and full of loud, stomping solos.
Then there's the lighter side to the Stripes. Meg White makes her vocal debut (not counting harmonies on previous albums) with In the Cold, Cold night, a mellow little tune that is a highlight. I Want to Be the Boy to warm Your Mothers Heart is a piano driven track with a nice little ending octave switch by JW. And, You've Got Her In Your Pocket is a folksy acoustic track whose only detriment is a somewhat abrupt switch from major to minor key.
Beyond that, There's No Home for You Here is a sequal to Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground, with a similar verse pattern and a very loud chorus. I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself is a somewhat pompous, obnoxious cover, The Air Near My Fingers is perhaps the most British track and one of the strongest, and It's True that We Love One Another is a tongue in cheek duet (actually, triet, if there is such a thing, as Meg adds some vocals).
Little Acorns, the weakest track on the album, is a silly track with an even sillier spoken "inspirational" intro.
Elephant is the most mainstream of all the Stripes' albums and the most readily listenable. Highly reccomended.
out of four stars:
1. Seven Nation Army *** 1/2
2. Black Math *** 1/2
3. There\'s No Home For You Here ***
4. I Just Don\'t Know What To Do With Myself ** 1/2
5. In The Cold Cold Night *** 1/2
6. I Want To Be The Boy To Warm Your Mother\'s Heart *** 1/2
7. You\'ve Got Her In Your Pocket *** 1/2
8. Ball And Biscuit ****
9. The Hardest Button To Button ***
10. Little Acorns **
11. Hypnotize ****
12. The Air Near My Fingers ****
13. Girk, You Have No Faith In Medicine *** 1/2
14. It\'s True That We Love One Another ** 1/2