Album Review: The White Stripes – Under The Great Northern Lights

by Laura Hamilton on March 22, 2010

Do you like the White Stripes? Forget that…. Do you Love the white stripes? Maybe enough to renew your passport to pay them a visit? If you fall into this category, you may have been present for the most recent release, straight from our Northern neighbors: Under Great White Northern Lights.

My guy is a big fan of The White Stripes. We had tickets to this tour starting with Berkley and then we seriously considered following them up to Alaska, but we thankfully changed our minds before they cancelled most of the US dates and all of Europe. For once, it was the Bay Area that got screwed and not Canada.

If you were a White Stripes fan three years ago, you will know the extravagant and non-lucrative Northern tour schedule that Jack and Meg put together to produce this album. They visited Canadian towns so small and so remote that their accommodations consisted of two sticks and a moose pelt. The infrastructure may have been a bit rugged, but the benefit of visiting such far off lands is that the whole town seemed to pause upon their arrival. Heads up everybody, he White Stripes are coming to town! Don’t know who they are, but the meat-on-stick vendors might be there!

The parts I enjoyed most about this album came from their lesser known performances. I absolutely LOVED their Dolly Parton cover of ‘Jolene’ – they always seem to bring the best out of country music instead of the worst which is often the case with other artists. Another enjoyable ditty was ‘Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn’ which not only reflects their ever-changing diversity of music, but lends itself perfectly for audience sing-alongs. If you are interested in something a bit more fast-paced and animated, ‘Black Math’ should do the trick. The rest of the album comes with a variety of other hits but nothing that deviates far from the originals enough to mention.

This album is a wonderful live compilation that has a level of quality to deter the regular bootlegging fans, like you, out there. If you actually do enjoy The White Stripes, cough up the $10 it will maybe cost you to legally own a good collection of their live performances. I certainly WISH I could have been part of this tour as planned, but everyone deserves a mental health day. Perhaps this will inspire other big names to take a walk on the wild side and perform for the sake of performance rather than using more conventional method to enrich their bottom line.


Editor’s Note: Yes, we have a review of the movie on the site, but I don’t think enough love has been given to the live album, and it deserves its own place.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Captain Underpants March 22, 2010 at 9:03 pm

You got a guy Dakin?


strawberryluna March 23, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Awesome. We’re loving this record (and movie, I can’t lie) too and it’s nice to see it get some love.


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