the phantom edit, part the second: a concerned listener adds bass lines (and supporting vocals) to those pesky, minimalist white stripes.
What is most interesting about this project is to listen to Mr. McDonald grow more comfortable with each installment in his role as the White Stripes' uninvited bassist. In the first few songs, he tries to fit in and not detract from the original appeal and integrity of the music. As a result, the songs sound very natural, almost as if they were originally recorded with bass, but at the same time a lot of the rawness and power that came from the sparseness of the music is lost.


A highlight is "I Think I Smell A Rat," on which Mr. McDonald adds a bass line (borrowed from "Paint It Black" by the Rolling Stones), which, instead of blending into the song, stands in glorious counterpoint, adding to rather than subtracting from the White Stripes' version. On the next two tracks, "Aluminum" and "I Can't Wait," he adds his own California alternative-pop backing vocals, and it soon becomes clear that the less true to the White Stripes - and the more true to himself - Mr. McDonald is, the more worthy the collaboration becomes.

my sister anticipated this. when she was a wee girl, she found one of my drawings (nothing special, as then and now i can draw nothing but cats), colored it in and replaced my name with hers, and stuck it on the refrigerator to impress our mother. emily's art has always been aggressive - when i beat her out as mom's helper for cookie-making, she actually bit me in the ass - drew blood right through my purple corduroy pants, the little monster. i'd like to say that i retaliated later by shutting her in the toy chest and rolling it around until she threw up on her stuffed animals, but i actually did that without provocation. ah, girl-children. ask me about my chipped teeth sometime.

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