When The White Stripes burst onto the music scene as the garage rock revivalists we’d all been waiting for — far removed from the designer ripped denim of The Strokes and far more concerned with the gunk and grime of proper blues — Jack White used one powerful weapon that had been left untouched for some years; he used his fire-breathing guitar.
While some musos had picked up on the power of The White Stripes long before their seminal album White Blood Cells, the band were shaking the foundations of Detroit since the late nineties; there was something special about the record. It was this album, and most importantly, the song ‘Fell In Love With A Girl’, which announced The White Stripes as the uniformed saviours of rock and roll. Listening to the isolated guitar track of the song, it is easy to see how.
For many fans, the first introduction to The White Stripes was happening upon their iconic Lego-themed video for ‘Fell In Love With A Girl’ while hopelessly flicking through MTV to find a video that didn’t make you want to vomit. Seeing the block figures morph and mutate was interesting, and it certainly came as a breath of fresh air in 2001 as the world continued to battle the Nu-metal disease among many other malignant musical moments; it was Jack White’s guitar that really grabbed the attention of rock fans.
For too long had the world been subjected to guitars falling into the background. Thanks to grunge, the guitar had become a (vital) piece of their disenfranchised dirge; the same can be said for the alt-rock scene that followed. Britpop also struggled to put the guitar front and centre across the pond, preferring instead to use it as a symbol instead of a weapon. But when The White Stripes decided to make their presence felt, they did so with Jack White’s guitar firing riffs like a bombastic bazooka.
In truth, the riff for ‘Fell In Love With A Girl’ isn’t particularly wild or difficult to master. In fact, not much of what White ever did was. Instead, he used his unique tone to lay down a marker and prove that being a great guitarist was important once more. The band supercharged the tempo to 192 beats per minute and ensured that this song would please the masses, if only for its pounding riff.
Lyrically, it’s a dense piece to understand. Snappy and unrelenting, the words used aren’t of real importance beyond the chorus. The real nugget of truth can be heard in White’s riffs most clearly of all. When you isolate that guitar track, as has been done below, you can ascertain an even clearer picture of White’s talent.
Making simple things seem impressive is one technique that only the greatest have in their locker. Judging by the audio below, White can certainly be thought of as one of the greatest. Listen to the blistering isolated guitar of The White Stripes song ‘Fell In Love With A Girl’ and get ready to be blown away.