Tag Archives: 2000s rock

Song of the Day: “Fell In Love With a Girl” – The White Stripes

An explosive song that clocks in at just under two minutes, “Fell In Love With a Girl” just might be the coolest song to be released this century. Everything about the song – its violent riff, Meg White’s anarchic drumming, Jack White’s insane “ahhhhh-ahhhh-ahhhhh-ah!” screams – blasts out of the speakers and pummels everything in its path.

“Fell In Love With a Girl” just might be the best thing Jack White ever recorded in illustrious career. Inside those chaotic two minutes is a culmination of rock itself: blues chord progressions played at Zeppelin-esque volume; the DIY ethos of garage-rock and punk; the unbridled energy of The Who and the fierce attack of The Stooges; the power-pop sensibility of The Beatles.

A lot was made of the garage-rock revival at the beginning of the century. Some bands were really good (see The Strokes’ Is This It), others I thought were decent at the time but eventually realized were terrible (see The Vines) and some were fashion statements with instruments (The Hives). And  then there were the ones whose music you heard before back when they were called Joy Division. (Interpol, I’m looking at you.)

But The White Stripes established themselves above the rest with one single swoop. Whereas other bands felt like they were trying too had, “Fell In Love With a Girl” seemed spontaneous and off the cuff. (For the record, I do think Jack White does try too hard sometimes. Remember Get Behind Me Satan?)

The rest of White Blood Cells didn’t reach the height of “Fell In Love With a Girl”. The rest of the songs found on the album were very strong, but “Fell In Love with a Girl” was and too intense and too badass to be pushed by the wayside. The only way for White to eclipse or circumvent the song’s power was to create something more repetitive and simple sounding and double-down on it. “Seven Nation Army” might be on its way to becoming the most famous guitar riff of all time, if thousands of sports fans have their way.

But I’ll never get tired of hearing “Fell In Love With a Girl” in all its glory. To quote Bob Dylan, “Play fuckin’ loud.”

 

Song of the Day: “Ragoo” – Kings of Leon

 

It’s well known that I have mixed feelings about Kings of Leon. Years before they released Only By The Night and became famous with “Sex on Fire” and “Use Somebody”, I felt as if they were my band.  The success of that album made them into an entirely different band, and not for the better.

It’s natural that artists what to change their sound a bit and with Because of the Times, they seemed to be progressing in a way that seemed natural. It retained much of the energy of their first two albums, while also exploring new sounds and textures.  One of the best examples of that new exploration is the Reggae-tinged “Ragoo”.

It begins with a whiskey-soaked guitar riff from Matthew Followill that feels like the moment you hit the bed before you pass out. Caleb Followill compliments his cousin’s lead with a dirty and jagged rhythm before Nathan Followill wisely follows with a beat that’s just enough off rhythm with the rest of the band to make the entire thing seem slightly off kilter. It’s sloppy, but it perfectly fits the mood of the song.  The result is a song that a friend of mine described as something that “The Police would have recorded if they total drunks.” And an odd compliment, but perfectly true and accurate.

It’s too bad they never explored songs like “Ragoo” more. Instead, they became like every other mainstream rock band, albeit one with a better backstory.