This is a really interesting track. First of all, the lyrics are very well put together. Jack’s got a gift for this. (Trust me on this, I know it’s a little hard to make out what he says.) Second, although I am by no means an expert on this sort of thing, I would say, to my ears, that there is NO instrument carrying the melody here. The voice is the only melody. All other instruments, including the piano, are there to help drive rhythm. I’ve heard it argued that the piano is really a percussion instrument. In some ways, this is a really silly thing to say, but listening to this song, it’s easy to remember that the piano sounds are generated by hammers striking strings.
The slow decay and resonance of the piano sounds makes me as certain as I can be that they’re using an acoustic piano here. Of course, The White Stripes are not above manipulating the sounds of their instruments to create the sound they’re looking for (did you know that Seven Nation Army does not, after all, make use of a bass guitar?). But listen to the 1:20 or mark… that sounds like the real thing to me.
The Denial Twist (Album Version) - Jack White