White Stripes : Hotel Yorba

'Hotel Yorba'..sounds like the kind of bower of romantic bliss in which you'd happily spend your life...

Mingling high camp and grimy authenticity as only they can, Detroit’s finest export since Motown and Madonna deliver a paen to their local dosshouse. That it ends up sounding like the kind of bower of romantic bliss in which you’d happily spend your life is just another example of the Stripes‘ unique magic in action. Consider the evidence: they make the world’s most boring music (the blues) seem fresh and modern; they construct enormous walls of sound out of little more than a washboard; they make a thrift-store wardrobe of black, red and white look chic and, ahem, ‘directional’; and despite having no interest in – or, on the face of it, relevence to – the modern world, they somehow fit perfectly into 2001. Is it our poignant yearning for more innocent times? Is it our curiosity about what they get up to behind locked doors? Partly – but really it is, of course, the tunes and the way they transport you into a world where there’s Charley Patton on the stereo, a zebra’s head on the wall and tea round the Von Bondies’ at 4. Don’t get the blues – get the Whites.

Alex Needham