The White Stripes


Jack White is turning into the kind of noisemaker who can pinch a loaf into a bowl, and there’ll be critics ready and willing to kill each other to be first in pronouncing it the finest chocolate pudding they’ve ever tasted. It’s a dangerous place for an artist. Elephant, album No. 4 from this Detroit duo (the other member being White’s ex-wife, Meg, on drums) is pretty good, with reservations. The best stuff sounds like a British Invasion-era reinvention of the blues, evoking everything from the Kinks and Yardbirds through Cream, Led Zeppelin and even Black Sabbath. Jack’s ebullient garage-style guitar wanking thrives on excess; that same excess often handicaps his mannered, histrionic vocals, but Meg’s deadpan singing forms a decent counterpoint. Oh, and whilst “Well It’s True That We Love One Another” may nick the Mamas and the Papas’ “Creeque Alley,” it’s such a cheeky pinch that it works.