Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The White Stripes: Elephant [V2, 2003]
Everybody else's favorite White Stripes album still isn't mine, but I admit I underrated it. This was because I sensed Jack White was the annoying neoprimitivist scold we now know him to be, but hadn't figured out how to process it, which is to ignore his content while giving it up to his formal imagination and command. The game changer here was what we'll call the "Blitzkrieg Bop" effect. When a riff turns into a stadium slam jam the way "Seven Nation Army" has, fools just hate it forever. Me, I lay my offering at the feet of the populist gods and tip my baseball cap to people a lot worse than Jack White. Gary Glitter, most prominently. Hell, Metallica. A-