What happens? Well, they do much the same as before. The same guitars, vocals, drums approach recorded very raw and live, I suppose. Love the opening song, a little poppy melody encased within a garage rock, recorded in an actual garage ( by the sounds of it! ) approach. ‘Hello Operator’ is hard-hitting and ‘Little Bird’ includes nice blues sounds. I welcome the blues sounding alive like this. The pounding drums of Meg White come in, the guitar see-saws – this is good stuff. A change of style for ‘Apple Blossom’, and it becomes apparent that ‘De Stijl’ is a better paced record than the debut, that a little more thought went into it, or perhaps just that Jack White had gotten a little better at writing songs. ‘Apple Blossom’ includes Piano, a nice vocal melody and a gorgeous feel. It sounds fifty years old, in the best possible way. ‘I’m Bound To Pack It Up’ is a good folk song, and this guy can write songs that sound authentic, so much so – you worry that they actually are. The songs and lyrics are nothing new, nothing astonishing, but for this album at least – just so easy to listen to. You’d expect something of a song called ‘Death Letter’ wouldn’t you? It doesn’t disappoint. Bluesy electric guitar – simple parts. Primitive drums, simple parts. Simple lyrics and a simple vocal approach. Is there a theme developing here? Sometimes the key to a good artist is in being so into your own music, you convince the listener that its good simply through your own conviction. There is plenty of conviction all through ‘De Stijl’, and yeah, it convinces.
‘Sister, Do You Know My Name’ sounds sweet and romantic and I adore the guitar sound in places. Only in places, but in all places it’s okay, you know? The vocal is soft and makes you believe everything is real – again, a suspension of disbelief thing going on. And this song is followed by a song intriguingly titled ‘Truth Doesn’t Make A Noise’. Jack varies his guitar tone, and plays piano too. Good song, dark sounding, very atmospheric and haunting. Of the remaining five songs, not everything works. The brief blast of noise that is ‘Jumble, Jumble’ may be better titled ‘Jungle Jungle’ given the sound it evokes. Good stuff, actually! ‘Why Can’t You Be Nicer To Me’ goes down Led Zeppelin road and the closing ‘Your Southern Can Is Mine’ is back to the blues/folk roots. Like Jack is singing from a field – again, convincing. ‘De Stijl’ convinces, is very listenable and modest sounding and an improvement over their debut.