Song of the Week – You’re Pretty Good Looking(For a Girl), White Stripes

In the year 2000, the White Stripes released their sophomore album, De Stijl.  The album title is a reference to the Dutch abstract art movement.  It espoused reducing elements of art to the essentials of form and color, and was an early influence on the White Stripes aesthetic of using only red, white, and black for their stage and graphics image.

The lead track on the home recorded album was “You’re Pretty Good Looking (For a Girl).”

This is 109 seconds of what Jack White has called bubblegum pop.  At the time it was considered a departure from his slide blues comfort zone.  Some fans saw it as progress, others as a decline.  I like it.

I scratched my head for a long time trying to understand the “for a girl” part.  I finally landed on the theory that he’s trying to convey that girls (women) have a high societal standard of beauty to live up to.  Saying “for a girl” is actually a compliment.

He clearly likes her.  Later in the song he says:

Lots of people in this world
But I want to be your boy
To me that thought is sounding so absurd
And I don’t want to be your toy

He awkwardly wants to be in a relationship but also wants to be taken seriously.

“You’re Pretty Good Looking (For a Girl)” was used in the movie Hot Chick, released in 2002, starring Rob Schneider.  That means it beat out “We’re Going to Be Friends” — used for the opening credits of Napoleon Dynamite (2004) – as the first White Stripes song used in a film.

I was lucky enough to see the White Stripes live at the 2005 San Diego Street Scene.  They were outstanding and I still hold them up as one of my favorite new millennial bands.

Enjoy… until next week.