Under Great White Northern Lights - (Import CD)

White Stripes

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  1. Performer
  2. Rock & Pop
  3. Alternative
Mono / Stereo
Jack White III; Ian Montone; Tim Wheeler; Mike Sarkissian
Under Great White Northern Lights *

Audio Mixers: Jack White III; Vance Powell .
Recording information: Canada (2007).
Director: Emmett Malloy.
Editor: Tim Wheeler .
Photographer: Autumn de Wilde.
Given the White Stripes' reputation for powerful concerts, it's a little surprising that they waited until more than a decade into their career to release a live album. However, Under Great White Northern Lights was worth the wait: While nothing can really replace seeing the band live, this set captures most of their riveting on-stage presence. The album was recorded during the Stripes' 2007 Canadian tour, which was such a special experience for them that they chronicled it with a DVD as well. The band was touring in support of that year's Icky Thump, and the Scottish and Celtic motifs that are woven throughout that album pop up here, too, from the bagpipes intro to a brisk version of "Little Ghost" that sounds almost like a reel. Like most White Stripes concerts, Under Great White Northern Lights features an evenhanded mix of early songs and newer ones -- Jack and Meg White go way back for incendiary takes on "Let's Shake Hands" and "When I Hear My Name," which sound right at home next to the lunging "Icky Thump" and "I'm Slowly Turning into You." The album opens with four furious rockers that show just how primal the duo is live -- on "Black Math" and a breathless "Blue Orchid" they sound like they can barely keep up with the energy flowing through them -- but many of Under Great White Northern Lights' brightest moments happen when they slow down. Jack and Meg settle into a groove on "300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues" that makes the song fresher than it was on Icky Thump, while a particularly stunning version of "The Union Forever," with extra-desperate vocals from Jack surrounded by a swelling, horror-movie organ, just might be the album's standout. The Stripes also include plenty of favorites, including "Jolene," a bluesy "Fell in Love with a Girl," a singalong "I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself," and a bruising "Seven Nation Army" as the finale, all of which capture the kind of show the band puts on for its fans. Since a big part of the Stripes' live show also rests on their visuals, the Under Great White Northern Lights DVD gives the complete experience, but this album is satisfying enough to make it a must for most fans. ~ Heather Phares

Third Man Records
Studio / Live
The White Stripes
Songs / Tracks
  1. [ Disc 01 Track 01 ] Let's Shake Hands
  2. [ Disc 01 Track 02 ] Black Math
  3. [ Disc 01 Track 03 ] Little Ghost
  4. [ Disc 01 Track 04 ] Blue Orchid
  5. [ Disc 01 Track 05 ] Union Forever, The
  6. [ Disc 01 Track 06 ] Ball and Biscuit
  7. [ Disc 01 Track 07 ] Icky Thump
  8. [ Disc 01 Track 08 ] I'm Slowly Turning into You
  9. [ Disc 01 Track 09 ] Jolene
  10. [ Disc 01 Track 10 ] 300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues
  11. [ Disc 01 Track 11 ] We Are Going to Be Friends
  12. [ Disc 01 Track 12 ] I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself
  13. [ Disc 01 Track 13 ] Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn
  14. [ Disc 01 Track 14 ] Fell in Love with a Girl
  15. [ Disc 01 Track 15 ] When I Hear My Name
  16. [ Disc 01 Track 16 ] Seven Nation Army
  1. The White Stripes
  3. Original Soundtrack/The White Stripes
WEA (Distributor)

Entertainment Weekly (p.92) - "[W]ith go-for-broke performances....If UGWNL is their last hurrah, it's one hell of a goodbye." -- Grade: A
Pitchfork (Website) - "The exquisitely packaged UNDER GREAT WHITE NORTHERN LIGHTS box set aims to summarize the duo in their most potent form -- onstage, with two spotlights beaming through them....It's a wild success..."
Uncut (magazine) (p.111) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[The] live album begins with a dramatic flourish, a bagpipe skirl prefacing the hammer-blow riffage of 'Let's Shake Hands'."

59m 10s
Video Disabled
Philip J. Harvey
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