2. The White Stripes â€šÃ„Ã¬ Elephant
The White Stripes Elephant is one of those rare records that upon first listen had the buzz to top this list. It was on the tips of the tongues of all that listened to it. For a good couple months everyone could just not stop talking about it, and if nothing else were at least singing a few bars of “Ball and Biscuit.” The real question is why? The answer is overwhelming creative and artistic excellence. Not since Kurt Cobain and Nevermind has a musical force been so diverse and challenging with such a simple musical repertoire.
Aside from the band obviously being a two-piece, Jack and Meg White combine blues, folk, punk and classic rock influences into quite possibly one of the best garage rock albums ever. Nearly every song on this album has the makings of a classic, including the sultry guitar walk organ drone (with Meg on vocals no less) of “In the Cold, Cold Night,” the punk rock fury of “Black Math,” and the dancy dirty R + B of “The Air Near My Fingers.” Jack White might just make for the most puzzling peppermint-clad rock star ever, where in one song he vulnerably croons to only acoustic guitar about keeping a girl in your pocket “where thereâ€šÃ„Ã´s no way out,” and then immediately follows it up with the cock rock slide guitar solo extravaganza of “Ball and Biscuit.” However, what stands out above all else is solid song craft.
Jack brings the best out of whatever he touches. He uses these genres and styles like Van Gogh used so much paint on an easel, vibrantly illuminating just how to use them while making sure melody and form is paramount in the mix.