Elephant - The White Stripes

Universal acclaim - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Elephant overflows with quality -- it's full of tight songwriting, sharp, witty lyrics, and judiciously used basses and tumbling keyboard melodies that enhance the band's powerful simplicity.
  2. Each album, from the White Stripes to De Stijl to White Blood Cells, has shown their evolution from Blind Willie McTell cover band with a pop sensibility to full-fledged, honest-to-goodness rock 'n' roll gods, a status finally reached on their latest disc.
  3. Therein lies the contradiction of The White Stripes. How do you combine the shit-hot with the "twee?" Elephant's shortcomings suggests the enterprise is futile.
  4. 100
    Laced with enough blue-eyed longing to make the most diehard Gram Parsons fan weep with wonder and the sort of verbal acuity that would give even Dylanologists pause for thought, Elephant is where the tabloid phenomenon of summer 2001 prove they are no flash in the pan by making a truly phenomenal record. [May 2003, p.94]
  5. A record sufficiently impressive to suggest that White Blood Cells caught Jack and Meg using only a fraction of their talents. [Apr 2003, p.98]
  6. 90
    Where Elephant does differ from what has gone before is in terms of quality. It's just better all round. [Apr 2003, p.88]
  7. It is a glorious thing to hear. It will be one of the best things you hear all year.
  8. The eloquence, barbarism, tenderness and sweat-drenched vitality of 'Elephant' make it the most fully-realised White Stripes album yet.
  9. All the elements of previous White Stripes records surface again, but in weirder, more intense strains that don't break with Jack and Meg White's past, yet don't slavishly adhere to it, either.
  10. 100
    This is not garage rock; this is art rock. And that's a compliment. [May 2003, p.107]
  11. The duo have refined their sound until it is shatteringly effective. Nevertheless, Elephant sounds suspiciously like the White Stripes' apotheosis.
  12. Not that there aren't hints of greatness on Elephant.... That said, ''Elephant'' also flaunts everything that's contrived about the band -- the gimmicks for which they've become better known than their actual music.
  13. 80
    They break their own rules, even adding expansive guitar solos, to keep themselves interested and fans off-balance. [May 2003, p.123]
  14. Never has the pair sounded more fresh and self-assured; nor has it delivered such a fully realized work before.
  15. 90
    It's what the British Invasion might've sounded like had it come after punk rock. [#58, p.109]
  16. A baby elephant still, bigger, brighter than its two siblings, but it's in your kitchen, and it ain't leaving anytime soon.
  17. 'Elephant' is already this year's most crucial purchase.
  18. From its opening bars of stop/start low end, to the motivational tape samples, to the aforementioned multi-tracking, Elephant just screams and begs to be viewed as a departure from the Stripes’ well-known approach. The problem is that in between all this commotion lie the same vintage jams that the group has trafficked in for years.
  19. A follow-up album that not only meets expectations, it blows them away.
  20. 'De Stijl' is just about better song for song, but the sheer vitality and energy of this one alone makes 'Elephant' their most accomplished record to date.
  21. Elephant isn't one of those albums that'll change your life, or your tastes, or even the face of your music collection -- it's just a strong and consistent collection of powerful rock songs.
  22. The second side is the dullest sequence they've put together since tracks five through 11 on their debut.
  23. In the end, it just feels like Elephant is the culmination of the group trying to please absolutely everyone and it instead feels like sort of a mess.
  24. So the news is good. They didn't sell out, they didn't run out of ideas, and they were able to find still more places to yell "Whooo!" Go buy this now.
  25. A masterpiece, regardless of hype.
  26. It is stranger, thornier, and meaner than anything in the band’s past.
  27. Elephant is a startlingly dark and consistent record, incorporating frequencies never before heard on a White Stripes album.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 353 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 158
  1. Oct 19, 2011
    This album is ridiculous. I'm surprised it didn't start a music revolution like that of Is This It. Jack White is an absolute genius. Unfair album overall. All tracks are PERFECT Full Review »
  2. j30
    Sep 22, 2011
    Great album. Nothing groundbreaking, but just a great rock album. This is one of those records you can listen to all the way through repeatedly. It's the 'Nevermind' for a new generation of music. You listen to it and it makes you want to start your own garage band. Full Review »
  3. SimonB
    Dec 1, 2003
    Best album I've heard all year. The cover of 'Don't Know What to Do With Myself' is a gem and 'Ball and and a Biscuit' is intense. 'Little Acorns' and 'Cold Cold Night' aren't bad but knock off one point Full Review »