The White StripesLaid bare of all pretention, this album is a straightforward, raw foot-stomping preview of a career to come. Part Yeah Yeah Yeahs (whose Karen O came around several years after this album), part Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and a whole mess of other ancient and up and comers who followed in their wake like The Black Keys (who are actually much more traditional in their blues approach). And maybe that’s what made this debut so shocking and exciting at the time, as The White Stripes spurned any exact tradition, combining garage rock and blues and backwoods shrieking into a stew of raw emotion and what felt like some high-voiced, high-spirited redneck freak out. He does dial it back on a few songs (shit, there are 17 to choose from!) to show his “sensitive” side but usually jumps right back into the raucous muffled guitar crunch, echoey vocals and wind-up monkey drumming on what sounds like the kit you get an eight-year-old at a garage sale. These songs establish tons of attitude and personality, but fail just a bit on the songwriting front in terms of distinguishing one song from the next and really laying down sweet hooks. That refinement, of course, would come in spades on later albums…