De Stijl is the second studio album by the American garage rock band The White Stripes, released on June 20, 2000 on Sympathy for the Record Industry. The album reached number thirty-eight on Billboard's Independent Albums chart in 2002, when The White Stripes' popularity began to grow. It has since become a cult favorite among White Stripes fans, due to the simplicity of the band's blues/punk fusion.
De Stijl (“the style” in English) was a Dutch art movement (including the painter Mondrian). Vocalist Jack White had been an admirer of the style for some time, especially of furniture designer Gerrit Rietveld. Rietveld designed the Rietveld Schröder House, which Jack and Meg White visited while on tour in the Netherlands. De Stijl was dedicated to both Rietveld and Blind Willie McTell.
Despite their reputation as garage rock revivalists, the White Stripes
display an impressive range of styles on their second album, De Stijl, which is
Dutch for “the style.” Perhaps the album's diversity – which
incorporates elements of bubblegum, cabaret, blues, and classic rock –
shouldn't come as a surprise from a band that dedicates its album to bluesman
Blind Willie McTell and Dutch artist Gerrit Rietveld. Nevertheless,
it's refreshing to hear the band go from the Tommy James-style pop of “You're
Pretty Good Looking” to the garagey stomp of “Hello Operator” in a one-two
punch. It's even more impressive that the theatrical, piano-driven ballad
“Apple Blossom” and a cover of Son House's “Death Letter” go so well
together on the same album. Jack White's understated production work and
versatile guitar playing and vocals also stand out on the languid, fuzzy
“Sister, Do You Know My Name?” as well as insistent rockers like “Little
Bird” and “Why Can't You Be Nicer to Me?” As distinctive as it is diverse,
De Stijl blends the Stripes' arty leanings with enough rock muscle to back up
the band's ambitions.
All Music Guide – Heather Phares