Playlist: Best of the White Stripes

Wow, this has been in the draft pile for over a week.  Oops.  Anyway, let me get started on an intro to another favorite band.  Jack White and Meg White were a Detroit-based duo from the late ’90s until about 2010.  I love this band’s unity of style and theme (things that you will see a lot: ghosts*, truth, problematic gender dynamics attempting to be resolved, and Catholicism).  But while it has this unity, the sound has good variation, and I just adore Jack White to bits.  Spoiler alert: I have a soft spot for Catholics lol.

(*nb: I don’t remember if any of the songs on this playlist pick up the ghost theme, but it is there.  Such as, well, “Little Ghost”.)

  1. Wasting My Time: This is a good example of one of their gritty-sounding songs, and their skillful blend of blues and rock.  Nothing like a good bitter song to start off the playlist!
  2. There’s No Home for You Here: that awkward moment when you just can’t stand somebody.  I listened to this song on repeat for a very long time in college.  I was a strange undergrad.
  3. In the Cold, Cold Night: You have to include one of the few songs sung by Meg (and maybe the only good one?).  It is an extremely simple song with her singing instead of playing the drums, but sometimes it’s good to have songs that aren’t all flash.
  4. Blue Orchid: a bit more on the opposite side of the spectrum: a very loud and energetic drum line.  This is one of the songs about truth, too.
  5. Apple Blossom: here is one song of the man trying to solve the woman’s problems, which is a good companion to the next song
  6. You’ve Got Her in Your Pocket: in this one, the man is trying to free a girl from a bad situation…just to put her in another bad situation.  The system, man :/
  7. The Same Boy You’ve Always Known: I love this song.  It has a pleasant tempo, and it struggles with the question of change over time, specifically the change in relationships.
  8. The Air Near My Fingers: one with a heavier beat, and it has the problematic gender roles of men–“I never said I wanted to be a man”
  9. I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself: Always nice to have some good covers, right?  So here’s theirs, with that gritty, Detroit feel.
  10. I Can’t Wait: “I wish this house felt like a home.”  Oh, the emotional loss.
  11. This Protector: I’m not sure why, but I love the strong piano and otherwise simple nature of this song.  Including the line “300 people living out in West Virginia have no idea of all these thoughts that are within you.”  I DON’T REALLY KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS, BUT I LOVE IT?
  12. A Martyr for My Love for You: the story of a relationship, with a good beat.  I’m a sucker for the plot of people giving up love because of their own failings.
  13. Forever for Her [Is Over for Me]: Almost a companion of before–when the guy actually has blown the relationship.  This song has a lot of fun rhymes and images.
  14. You Don’t Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You’re Told): this is a nice country-bluesy song with nice wordplay and also criticism of people who are in relationships because they can’t be by themselves.
  15. I’m Finding it Harder to be a Gentleman: Again, I just find the White Stripes concept of gender, and gentlemanship, intriguing.
  16. Red Rain: A more unique sound here, and I like the questions of not telling v. not lying, not crying v. not feeling.
  17. Truth Doesn’t Make a Noise: the truth theme might be my favorite motif of the White Stripes, and we’re in the second of a list of songs that are particularly focused on it.  “Her stare is louder then your voice”–the truth is something incorporeal and outside of ability to speak, etc.
  18. Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground: This song deals with truth and also has a reference to the Holy Ghost–for the reason why we love at all.  An interesting theological question.
  19. The Denial Twist: Again, truth, and also metapoetical–“make sure to never do it with a singer, cause he’ll tell everyone in the world what he’s thinking about the girl.”  Also the soul is like a lost little kitten.  Think about it.
  20. Cannon: I’m pretty sure there’s a pun between cannon (the song has a very booming style) and canon (specifically church canon, because of the references to John the Revelator and the Passion of Christ).
  21. Ball and Biscuit: a nice, long ballad, and for some reason I really like the general myth surrounded being the seventh son, and this references that, so.  The song has a lot of soul, no matter the lyrics.
  22. One More Cup of Coffee: A gritty sound again, with a slight country/mystical edge.

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