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iTunes Review

The artful minimalism of the White Stripes reaches a new plateau of excellence on 2003's Elephant. With three albums behind them, Meg and Jack White add fresh twists to their roots-rock revisions without compromising their endearing eccentricities. Jack's ability to fuse wildly different styles is in dazzling form here—his brawny guitar licks and gospel-tinged piano harken back to classic British rock, while his sly songwriting quotes everyone from Muddy Waters to the Carter Family. Elephant features his strongest work yet—the jittery menace of 'Seven Nation Army" and the sexual braggadocio of "Ball and Biscuit" match nicely with the misty-eyed tenderness of "You've Got Her in Your Pocket" and adolescent angst of "The Air Near My Fingers". Meg also steps out from behind her drums to deliver a winsome vocal on "In the Cold, Cold Night". At times wickedly funny, at others surprisingly touching, Elephant captures the White Stripes at their playfully primitive best.


Formed: 1997 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The White Stripes formed on Bastille Day in 1997, aiming to create simple, vigorous rock & roll with little more than Meg White's percussion and Jack White's guitar-and-vocal attack. Meg's drumming was deliberate and straightforward, while Jack's formidable guitar skills paid homage to garage rock, blues, and punk. A former drummer for the Detroit-based country outfit Goober & the Peas, he also displayed an affinity for American folk music, and the White Stripes took strength in the varied interests...
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