The Aughts Hot or Not – The White Stripes “Seven Nation Army”

Photo: YouTube

Did you start to hear the bass drum when you read the title? How about the guitar? Dmmm, dm DM dm d dmmmm dmmmm…Dmmm, dm DM dm d dmmmm dmmmm. So great.

In today’s edition of AHN, we’re looking back on The White Stripes “Seven Nation Army.” It’s one of the band’s most commercially popular songs and even has a few different connections to sports. The song came from the “Elephant” album in 2003, and was a huge hit in the early aughts.

Music Video (Photosensitive Warning)

The great thing about this music video, and you could have said the same thing about the White Stripes before they broke up, is that that there’s not too much going on, while at the same time there’s a bunch of shit happening.

The main character in the video is a repetitive triangular shape that keeps regenerating and coming at you throughout the entire song. Just before the one minute mark, and as we get to the first iteration of the popular guitar riff the song is known for, strobe lights kick in and things start to get weird. The video does a great job of pairing the visuals with the pacing of the song itself, (ex: strobes at the high points, fades to black when things slow down).

Other worthwhile developments in the video come around the 1:25 mark, we get waves of skeleton soldiers marching to the beat. A nod to the title of the song, one would presume. At the 3:10 mark, we get our one and only elephant to come through the continued heap of depictions spewed at us. This of course appears due to the aforementioned album title named above.

The video is a perfect mess of bland and hectic. It give you more than enough to keep your eyes entertained throughout the duration.

Best Lyric

I’m going to Wichita
Far from this opera forevermore
I’m gonna work the straw
Make the sweat drip out of every pore
And I’m bleeding, and I’m bleeding, and I’m bleeding
Right before the Lord
All the words are gonna bleed from me
And I will sing no more

I think these lyrics hit the best in “Seven Nation Army” because of the messenger. Jack White seems like the rockstar who you’re not 100% sure wants to be a rockstar. He seems like a guy who could just quit the music scene (far from this opera) without notice, for a simpler life (work the straw in Wichita).

It’s almost like he’s threatening us that he can do without the life his celebrity has brought, and can go do whatever he wants without needing any of us…and to have that power is pretty great, I would imagine.

Worst Lyric

And I’m talking to myself at night
Because I can’t forget
Back and forth through my mind
Behind a cigarette

Cigarettes are bad, don’t smoke them.

Rating

This was a very strong effort by a band that many of us wish were still making music together. This song was not only stand alone great, it made it’s way into sports as an extremely popular stadium chant. That has to count for something in my ratings.

Rating: 7 Carson Daly’s

Photo: USA Today

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