The White Stripes – Conquest – EP

Conquest – EP (2007)

B

1. Conquest 2. It’s My Fault For Being Famous 3. Cash Grab Complications On The Matter 4. Honey, We Can’t Afford To Look This Cheap 5. Conquest (Acoustic Mariachi Version)

 

The Stripes’ undersold, underappreciated country side is awarded its brief moment in the sun, but oddly gets it on the back of “Conquest,” which is about as country as Penn State is the most morally upstanding football program in the country (what… too soon?). What were they thinking releasing this dumb novelty song as a single anyway? Was it just to prove that they have a sense of humor? It’s like their “Shiny Happy People.” Good for a laugh in the context of an album, but the premise starts to wear thin once you try to push it for radio play. There’s even an “Acoustic Mariachi Version” on here, which is exactly what it sounds like and is 100% dumb humor. Though I’ll admit the bullfight music video they did for it is pretty hilarious.

The other three songs are Icky Thump leftovers recorded and produced by Beck in his living room. They all sound like live in the studio first takes, so there’s a charming, stripped down, haphazard quality to the recordings that we haven’t heard from the Stripes since White Blood Cells, complete with voice cracks and flubbed piano. The best of the bunch is the rollicking country tune “It’s My Fault For Being Famous,” which wittily touches on the life of a tabloid star and features Beck singing backing vocals. “Honey, We Can’t Afford To Look This Cheap” explores the opposite end of the social strata, implicitly casting Jack and Meg as a rag tag, down on their luck country-singing duo over a winkingly hokey piano line (Beck guests again – this time on dobro). The odd duck is the herky jerky “Cash Grab Complications On The Matter,” which sounds sort of like a Get Behind Me Satan outtake with its reprise of that neat “Blue Orchid” distortion sound. I’d criticize Jack’s return to overusing the piano, but hell, at least he’s not playing the drums yet.



One Comment

  1. Emily wrote:

    Yeah, I could’ve done without three more versions of Conquest, but I think the B-sides make up for it. The bring the charm of the Stripes initial stripped-downness back in full force and it makes me smile a million smiles.

    Although I’m going to admit, I can’t for the life of me remember what Cash Grab Complications sounds like right now.


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