Saturday, 10 January 2015

The Genius Of… Jack White #5

#5: There’s No Home For You Here by The White Stripes

In 2003, the White Stripes became the hottest property in rock music. Seven Nation Army became the anthem of the year, and its album ‘Elephant’ topped the charts and was critically lauded by just about everybody. In March 2004, a piece of 7” vinyl snuck out almost unnoticed; the fourth single from ‘Elephant’. It was the band’s most grandiose offering yet.

Dare I suggest There's No Home For You Here sounds like a Queen song at the start! That multi-layered vocal could have been lifted straight off any song from ‘Queen II’. Of course, we’d become well aware by now that Jack’s influences stretched far beyond the blues guitarists and garage bands that were clearly central to the White Stripes’ early sound, but it was also becoming clear that the band was making fuller use of the studio with each subsequent record, employing more elaborate techniques and ideas to enhance their sound.

OK, maybe not Queen then, but there’s certainly a lot more going on in this song than in earlier material. It jumped out at me excitedly on my first listen-through of ‘Elephant’ and remains my favourite song on the record. On the whole, ‘Elephant’ was a phenomenally complex record, choc-full of different sounds and textures that went way further than what many of us dreamed the White Stripes could be. The next two albums they would release would take this exploration to even further, far-off realms without completely taking their eyes off their garage-blues roots. There’s No Home For You Here aptly demonstrates the new exploratory direction the band was embarking on while tipping a nod to those tried and tested roots.

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