Even though Ironman is officially off the calendar for this year, I’m still trying to stick with some elements of the training plan, namely my focus on developing good cycle-specific muscles in my quads, glutes, etc. This, hopefully, is going to come as a result of these weekly plyometric and weight routines targeting these specific muscle groups and while HRH is at her “Leader’s Corp” thingamabobber this evening, I’m using this time to do just that. My soundtrack to push through a series of hops, leaps and jumps is another album by The White Stripes, ‘White Blood Cells‘.
‘White Blood Cells’ is the 3rd studio album by the anemic brother and sister duo , released on July 3rd, 2001. Rumor has it that it was recorded in less than one week at Easley-McCain Recording in Memphis, Tennessee, and produced by Jackie himself. It was also the band’s last record released independently on the Sympathy for the Record Industry label. In 2012, Rolling Stone ranked the album at #497 on its list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
This album comes at a time when the band seem to be hitting their popular stride – glowing write-ups in glossy magazines like Rolling Stone and Mojo, guest lists boasting names like Kate Hudson and Chris Robinson, and appearances on national TV – however,they managed to stay true to the approach that brought them all this success in the first place. Produced by Doug Easley, the album sounds exactly how an underground sensation’s breakthrough album should: bigger and tighter than their earlier material, but not so polished that it will scare away longtime fans; albeit, it lacks a little some of the Stripes’ blues influence that I’ve come to admire.
For example, there’s the country-tinged ‘Hotel Yorba‘ and the crazed garage pop of ‘Fell in Love With a Girl‘, along with the folky, McCartney-esque ‘We’re Going to Be Friends‘, a charming, innocent school-days love song that’s absolutely reeks of cuteneess. However, there are some other key White Stripes-esque moments in tracks like the cocky opener ‘Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground‘, and the vicious indictments around both ‘The Union Forever‘ and ‘I Think I Smell a Rat‘. ‘Same Boy You’ve Always Known‘ and ‘Offend in Every Way‘ are two more quintessential tracks, offering up more of the group’s stomping riffs and rhythms and us-against-the-world attitude.
I’m really digging these Stripes now, I admit; the hopping, leaping and jumping around like a kangaroo on crack…not so much.