Dear Three Imaginary Girls,
Much like your other readers, I have come to rely on your website as a consistent source of honest music journalism, free from the pretentious rockstar posturing of many other similar news sources. Unfortunately, my faith was recently broken when I read Michael X's First Official Review of "Elephant" by the White Stripes. This clichéd garbage is precisely what I'm trying to avoid when I log onto TIG.
First of all, did you read what he wrote about the cover art? I mean, this generic description sounds like he just looked at all of the other album covers and press photos and projected a mental conglomerate onto his review! Does he even know that there are six different covers for the six different regions of the globe? Are we to believe that his cut-and-paste drivel applies to all six? This glaring oversight alone should be enough to convince you that Michael X. is a talentless hack; however, if you require further proof, read on:
"Looking at the titles, I imagine tracks like "Black Math" or "Ball and Biscuit" will deliver that crunchier-than-thou punch that makes all the boys shout "YEAH!!!"
"…I imagine?" Did he even listen to the record? Obviously not, or he would have known that although "Ball and Biscuit" is a rockin' tune, it is certainly not among the crunchiest on Elephant. Had Michael X. even bothered to push the play button, he would have certainly picked the opening track, "Seven Nation Army" over the blues-drenched "Ball." In those first few seconds, he would also most certainly have learned enough about this record to keep him from presenting you with his blatant more-of-the-same attitude. I mean, it opens with a $#@! Bass Guitar, for crying out loud! A Bass Guitar! And while there aren't any fancy drum solos, there sure are a few fancy guitar ones. This is not an interchangeable White Stripes album by any stretch of the imagination. From Meg's vocals on the noirish "Cold, Cold Night" to the seven-minute (as in onetwothreefourfivesixseven!) epic "Ball and Biscuit" (the erroneously codified masterpiece mentioned above), this album explores all of the territory that the poor White Stripes have long been accused of avoiding. The real payoff is that, after listening to Elephant in its entirety, it is evident that these elements were not missing at all from earlier albums.
Would you look at me go! I am so excited about this record that I've completely lost sight of the point of this article: the condemnation of Michael X. and his boneheaded oversight of one of the year's best works. After the above indiscretion, he proceeds to write off "The Hardest Button to Button" as a gentle ballad. What? This is a new low in investigative journalism. Had he any idea what he was talking about, he certainly would have started by championing 'Button' as not only one of the albums stronger tracks, but also as one of the bass-driven ditties that separate this album from the herd. And he certainly would not have been able to shut up about the garage-friendly "Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine," and seeing as how he mentioned the Beatles in his article, he would no doubt have raved about "There's No Home for You Here," a perfectly psychedelic nod to the Classic Pop Tune.
And I have little doubt that any music critic worth the paper he prints on would certainly have then pointed out the striking similarity that the song bears to "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground," from White Blood Cells, so much so that it becomes obvious that it is an intentional derivation . And it would no doubt follow in standard Music Critic Logic that Jack and Meg White spend much of this album poking fun at themselves, and therefore at all of their detractors. The presence of the bass and of numerous guitar solos, as well as the subject matter explored throughout, serve only to point out that the White Stripes could sound like what a rock band is supposed to sound, but that the reason we love them so much is because they don't.
But Michael X. did not do these things, instead following the path of the jaded rock journalist, and applying a bunch of trendy catch phrases to an otherwise pointless article. He said absolutely nothing, and for this I demand action! If not his head, then his immediate censure throughout the entire music community!
Oh, but could you wait until he does that interview with Lure of the Animal? I love his interviews.
Michael X., concerned reader