The Ones That Got Away

Maybe the big guys like Spin and Rolling Stone didn't entirely ignore the White Stripes' White Blood Cells, but Recess sure as hell did. It's not that we weren't rocking out to this Detroit duo's scratchy low-fi sound all year--we just forgot to write about it. And shame on us, because their third release on the Sympathy for the Record Industry label was easily one of the best independent rock albums of the year. The band, consisting of Jack and Meg White, has a stripped-down guitar and drums sound with a touch of piano that is so basic, yet at times so heavy it makes you wonder how two people could make so much sound. The production sounds as if they held the recording sessions in a tin can, resulting in a gloriously raw mix reminiscent of the Pixies' earlier work like Surfer Rosa. Simple, not-quite rhymes like "Well I never said that I wouldn't throw my jacket in the mud for you/ But my father gave it to me so maybe I should carry you" get better with each listening and almost make you wish more bands would rhyme "you" with "you." Perhaps Jack and Meg's publicity scandal of claiming to be brother and sister (they're really ex-husband and wife) had something to do with it, but 2001 finally brought the White Stripes a piece of the attention they've deserved for quite some time now. --Kelly McVicker


Share and discuss “The Ones That Got Away” on social media.