(The Return of) Ignatz, by Sam Heldman

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Why, and in what precise way, do the White Stripes suck so badly? Jon Pareles explains (though he seems unaware of another factor: the fact that Robert Plant's voice, and therefore also the voice of anyone trying to sound like Robert Plant, is the most grating sound in the universe):
Yet it's all primitivist, not primitive. The White Stripes' problem is that the effort and allusions show; all the self-consciousness is still on the surface. And more often than not, Jack's skills end up sounding like stunts rather than songs. What comes across are the gestures — the sudden chomp of a distortion pedal, the outlandish vocal vibrato — rather than the feelings they once signaled. The heat of the old styles becomes a badge of cool.
. Article here

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