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The White Stripes - Elephant
(V2)

So, The White Stripes. Their fourth album continues their evolution while staying within their standard blues-meets-grunge template. Largely, though, on Elephant the hippest duo or group with vocal since Hall & Oates just keep doin' what they've been doin'. There's more Nirvanian moments here than you'll find in a stack of Foo Fighters records. Great garage numbers like "Hypnotize" co-exist quite snugly alongside barn burners like "Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine."

In fact, it is toward the end of this record, in its last five songs, that it coalesces best. Though the acoustic "You've Got Her In Her Pocket" is a highlight, most of the middle third of this 14-track odyssey is something of a snooze. All in all, there aren't many surprises here, but most bands could have fallen far short of what this chick and dude have come up with here.

YEAH YEAH YEAH, 2003