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My prediction for the number of record reviews that will paint The White Stripes' (excellent, so excellent) new album "Elephant" as a departure from the band's other releases by pointing out that the first track begins with a bass sound, only to later explain that this bass sound is in fact just Jack White picking his guitar through an octave pedal: ALL OF THEM.

Please remember the album was only officially released yesterday and I've already gathered the following pieces of hard evidence:

from Spike Magazine
"Elephant kickstarts with a pristine bass sound. "7 Nation Army". The first single to be. Whatever you say, however you approach this, you don't expect bass. The White Stripes are guitars and drums. Guitars and drums and occasional piano. They make a primal noise. That is what they do. The bass is just foolin', though (it's not bass at all - it's just an effect - it's just gee-tar)"

from Shake It Up
"A big statement is made right out of the starting gate as, yes, that's a bass that we hear introducing Seven Nation Army before Jack's now trademark slide style takes over."

"The first notes of the first ``Elephant'' track, ``Seven Nation Army,'' will tell fans that the two-piece band has altered its rule book. They are bass notes, the sound famously missing from most of the group's previous work. The bass riff - actually Jack playing his guitar through a pitch-dropping device..."

from Totally Wired
"The best tracks by far are where the familiar guitar and drums formula is subverted; opener ‘Seven Nation Army’ is a bass-driven stormer."

from Fake Jazz
"...on the album's first single and leadoff track, "Seven Nation Army." Using an octave pedal, Jack White turns his guitar into a bass to propel this foot-stomping Chuck Berry-style rocker."

from the BBC
"...'Seven Nation Army' - which finds Jack seeking a way out from international superstardom, helped by a driving pseudo bass and unforgiving guitars."

from Rolling Stone
"There is, for starters, true bottom here, for the first time on a White Stripes record. Jack's dancing-cobra bass line announces, then underpins, Elephant's opening fight song, 'Seven Nation Army.'"

from Other Music
"the production is not lushly over done nor is it the same old formula. For instance, the first track "Seven Nation Army" (an anthem of an opener -- hooky, sexy, destined to be a single) starts with... a bass! Actually, it's Jack playing guitar through an octave pedal."

[Typically, Pitchfork Media is the exception to the rule because they are the only source of information more self-conscious than me. Also typically, their review totally overlooks this album's merits because that would confuse their always-contrarian agenda.]

Music journalism is the best! Glad you died and didn't have to see any of this, Mr. Bangs.

WE FIRST MET ON 04.02.2003

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