The White Stripes weren't kidding around when they titled their latest album. Elephant hits like a stampede of blues-injected garage rock, ready to rip and wrangle at the same time. Those few unlucky people who haven't heard of the White Stripes should prepare for their musical cubicle to be torn down. Hailing from Detroit, Meg and Jack White spill gutsy vocals over Zeppelin-esque riffs to create anthems that many five-piece bands aren't capable of delivering. Elephant doesn't stray too far from the formula of the previous three albums, although the album is heavier than 2001's White Blood Cells. This may or may not be welcome news, since White Blood Cells enticed critics into proclaiming the White Stripes as the band that would save rock and roll. The opening seconds of Elephant suggest there is no reason to think otherwise, as "Seven Nation Army" pounds away. "I Want To Be The Boy To Warm Your Mother's Heart" and "The Air Near My Fingers" find just the right blend of lovely melodies and shredding guitar to catch the listener humming along. Another standout track is "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself," where Jack and Meg infuse energy into a Burt Bacharach/Hal David cover. Meg takes reign of the lead vocals on "In the Cold, Cold, Night," a beautiful pause from the strain of Jack's voice. In the end, the White Stripes prove once again that you don't have to be a name-dropping pop star to make a hit these days. Recorded on an eight-track in just a few weeks in London, this is one Elephant that isn't afraid of mice.


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