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Review: NME.com

Easing into its fourth decade, rock'n'roll, seems to have picked up something of a middle-aged spread; saddled down with extraneous string sections, unnecessary guitar solos, and all manner of luxurious nonsense stealing the fleet-footed funk from its once lithe shuffle. Here's the antidote.

The White Stripes number singer/guitarist Jack White and his drummer sister Meg . That's apparently all you need, as the duo dash through 13 songs running the gamut of pop and rock'n'roll, only twice calling on the assistance of a third set of hands to play the odd bit of piano. The White Stripes satisfy much deeper than their gimmick might suggest, though, expertly flirting with Beck -flavoured hick-hop ( 'Hello Operator' ), Zep -flavoured swagger-blues ( 'Little Bird' ) and the odd melancholic ballad ( 'Apple Blossom' ), while White 's fine whine and humungous guitar noise stamps a definite personality on the proceedings.

"When ideas become too complicated, and the pursuit of perfections is misconstrued as a need for excess... new rules need to be established," read the sleevenotes. 'Rock'n'roll, back to basics', speaks the music. These are the new rules, and this record is the musical equivalent of a tub full of diet pills. Imbibe and enjoy.

Stevie Chick

Rating: 8


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