As Walking With a Ghost lacks a genuine slam-dunk A-side, most listeners might be best served to just hold off entirely for now, saving attention for the inevitable lavish collection of White Stripes B-sides and rarities that's surely bound to appear sometime within the next couple holiday seasons.
I thought it might be fun to see what Pitchfork said about the original Tegan and Sara song so here is one funny clippety clip.
Tegan and Sara
So Jealous[Vapor/Sanctuary; 2004]
"The first single from So Jealous, "Walking With a Ghost", sounds like one of those dummy mp3s major labels post on KaZaA to fool unsuspecting music lovers, where the first 10 seconds loop for five minutes. Remember when you thought "House of Jealous Lovers" was instrumental? "Walking With a Ghost" repeats three or four mundane phrases-- particularly "out of my mind"-- dozens of times in two-and-a-half-minutes, all over the same jerky, studio-polished guitar chords. I suppose it's almost as catchy as the latest McDonalds jingle, but it's also utterly boring." [Marc Hogan]
Then on 11/7 PFM had this to say about the White Stripes single track:
The White Stripes: "Walking With a Ghost"
3 1/2 stars
"Is it sexist to like the NBA over the WNBA because dudes can slam dunk? What about finding Juwanna Mann funnier than Eddie? The Whites' Tegan and Sara cover outshines the Canadian power-pop duo's flat, Stripes-minded original, with the gender-bending Jack sounding his most animated since Elephant. I wanna chalk up the cover's junk-to-gold transmutation to genderless qualities like the crunchier guitars or caveman drumming, but ultimately Jack's finely honed rock affectations seal the deal. Thanks to his searing Robert Plant cowls, trite and repetitive lyrics like "you're out of my mind" and "no matter which way you go" become improbable mantras akin to "wanna whole lotta love?". The whole gender-swap thing creeping you out? Too bad. In the words of character Puff Smokey Smoke, "Juwanna, you are one tall glass of water and I'm thirsty!"" [Adam Moerder]
Like any band with a rabid following, this single will satiate their Candy Cane Army or whatever the White Stripes mega fans call themselves.
For those of you who perhaps like me are on the fence about the last record but like the rest of their catalog, "Walking With A Ghost" will not cause your arm hair to stand on its end but you won't hate yourself for owning it either. I think that equates to about a 6.1 rating.
The only fun fact I can add to the PFM review is the two tracks recorded in Brazil were done the same day Jack married model Karen Elson.
Dear White Stripes,
Meg can't sing so please God please stop
putting her out of time / out of tune efforts on record.
Live it may be cute and of the moment but recorded
it sinks like a marble turd.