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Askew Review 15

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WHITE STRIPES- White Blood Cells (Sympathy Records) Band Site. After careful deliberation, Iíve come to the conclusion that the first four songs on this disc really kick ass. At first, only "Hotel Yorba," an instantly likeable stomper, seemed like something special, but after repeated listenings, the other three join it to make it my favorite opening quartet of songs on an album put out this year. White Blood Cells, the third full-length release from this alleged brother and sister team, leads off with "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground," a solid number filled with meaty guitar and repeating end-of-stanza lines that are a joy to sing along with. Next up is the aforementioned nugget "Hotel Yorba," and thatís followed by the hard-hitting "Iím finding it harder to be a gentleman," which contains some of the best lyrics on the CD. Itís about a guy who is happy with his girl but is becoming tired of making as much effort as he used to. Sample verse: "Well Iím finding it hard to say/That I need you twenty times a day/I feel comfortable so baby why donít you feel the same?/Have a doctor come visit us/And tell us which one is sane." Next song is "Fell in Love with a Girl," a noisy rocker that features Jack Whiteís awesome guitar and infectious voice. Play it loud; you wonít regret it. The rest of White Blood Cells isnít as strong as itís beginning, but songs like "Little Room" (nothiní but 50 seconds of Meg Whiteís primo simplified drumminí and Jackís one-of-a-kind whine) and "Weíre Going to be Friends" (acoustic charmer about childhood) make it a good idea to keep listening. This album doesnít contain an absolutely perfect song the likes of "Youíre Pretty Good Looking" from their 2000 release DE Stijl, and it doesnít have the stripped down raw power of their eponymous debut from the year before, but itís still definitely worth picking up. ĖBen Hunter


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