The xx

The xx & Opinions on The Dead Weather

The xx has quietly taken the U.S. by storm. Now we've got the British electronic trio live in our studio. Plus Jim and Greg review the new album from The Dead Weather.

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Exile on Main Street is widely considered The Rolling Stones' best album and one of the best albums of all time. Jim and Greg would agree. So, it's no surprise that fans have been clamoring for even the smallest extra bit of insight into the making of the record. Unfortunately, the new Exile reissue does not deliver that. It comes with a deluxe edition of the album, bonus tracks, a documentary DVD and a book, but nothing that would allow a fan to penetrate the mysterious, drug-filled recording sessions. It's merely a big tease, say Jim and Greg, and nothing approaching the successful model of reissues established by Pet Sounds and Funhouse.


The xx

The xx This week's guests are The xx. The young British band released their self-titled debut last year, and it went on to make Greg's list of top albums of 2009 (Listen here). Since then their music has appeared in a number of major television shows and ads, and they're playing Lollapalooza. The group is known for their intimate, call and response sound–one that emerged more out of necessity than art. Bassist and vocalist Oliver Sim explains that neither he nor Romy Madley Croft were confident to sing on their own. But Romy assures us that there's nothing romantic about their intimacy. The two have been friends since they were small children.

reviewSea of CowardsSea of Cowards available on iTunes

The Dead Weather Sea of Cowards

Jack White might be the new hardest-working man in show business. Not only does he front his original band The White Stripes, but he's a member of The Raconteurs and most recently The Dead Weather. That group just released its second album in less than a year called Sea of Cowards. White is joined by Alison Mosshart from The Kills on vocals and Dean Fertita from Queens of the Stone Age. But, as Greg explains, it's White's stamp that's all over this record. He does the songwriting and production. Jim hears a lot of enthusiasm in the music, and it holds together more as a project than the self-titled debut. He compares White to Nick Cave — the music is dangerous and enticing and gets a Buy It rating. Greg can‘t believe Jim would compare White to Cave — he doesn’t think he has nearly the same songwriting chops. And the songwriting is where Sea of Cowards falls off for Greg. He loves the attitude and sound, but thinks the songs are fragments at best. It gets a Try It.



“Rock the Boat”Aaliyah

During The xx interview, the band spoke of their admiration for Aaliyah. This got Jim thinking about the R&B singer, who died in 2001. As he says, she wasn‘t the greatest singer, she wasn’t the most original, but she had real charisma and star power. He adds the track Rock the Boat, from Aaliyah's third and final self-titled album.

Featured Songs

  1. The Rolling Stones, Good Time Women, Exile on Main Street (Reissue), Universal, 2010
  2. The Rolling Stones, Following the River, Exile on Main Street (Reissue), Universal, 2010
  3. The xx, Crystalised, The xx, Young Turks, 2009
  4. The xx, Islands / Heart Skipped A Beat, The xx, Young Turks, 2009 Live on Sound Opinions
  5. The xx, Basic Space, The xx, Young Turks, 2009
  6. The xx, Intro, The xx, Young Turks, 2009
  7. The xx, VCR, The xx, Young Turks, 2009 Live on Sound Opinions
  8. The xx, Hot Like Fire, The xx, Young Turks, 2009
  9. Wait What, Juicy-R, The Notorious xx, Internet Release, 2010
  10. The xx, Night Time, The xx, Young Turks, 2009 Live on Sound Opinions
  11. The xx, Stars, The xx, Young Turks, 2009
  12. The Dead Weather, The Difference Between Us, Sea of Cowards, Warner Bros., 2010
  13. The Dead Weather, Hustle and Cuss, Sea of Cowards, Warner Bros., 2010
  14. The Dead Weather, Old Mary, Sea of Cowards, Warner Bros., 2010
  15. Aaliyah, Rock the Boat, Aaliyah, Background/Virgin, 2001
  16. The Replacements, Answering Machine, Let It Be, Twin/Tone, 1984
  17. Audrye Sessions, Turn Me Off, Audrye Sessions, Black Seal, 2008
  18. Dessa, Children's Work, A Badly Broken Code, Doomtree, 2010
  19. Galaxie 500, King of Spain, Today, Kramer, 1988
  20. The New Pornographers, Crash Years, Together, Matador, 2010
  21. James Brown, Ain't It Funky Now, Ain't It Funky, Starday and King, 1970

Footnotes The Rolling Stones' Album Reissue The xx The Dead Weather Aaliyah