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The White Stripes - Elephant

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XL - 2003 - 50 minutes

The problem with being saviours of rock is that you have to be heroes on a regular basis - every 18 months to two years, with each album supposed to save more people than the last one. Listening past the press accolades, The 'Stripes do enough on 'Elephant' to hang on to their colour co-ordinated capes.

Anyone who ever doubted them because of the lack of low end on their records, should be filled with joy 30 seconds in to the massive 'Seven Nation Army'. It's the first sound of their groove growing bigger, with duo Jack and Meg White smart enough to know that guitar and drums ructions, no matter how cool, can eventually become routine.

So, a badly judged cover of Bacharach and David's 'I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself' aside, there's more adventure here: Meg turning femme fatale on 'In the Cold, Cold Night', some 70's FM radio worship with 'I Want to Be the Boy to Warm Your Mother's Heart'; and a three-way conversation between Jack, Meg and singer Holly Golightly on closer 'Well It's True that We Love One Another'.

Eagerly awaited and surrounded in hype this may be, but the White's 'Elephant' turns out to be anything but.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Seven Nation Army - Black Math - There's No Home for You Here - I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself - In the Cold, Cold Night - I Want to Be the Boy to Warm Your Mother's Heart - You've Got Her in Your Pocket - Ball and Biscuit - The Hardest Button to Button - Little Acorns - Hypnotize - The Air Near My Fingers - Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine - Well It's True that We Love One Another

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