The White Stripes

For those worried by recent photos showing Jack White becoming Michael Jackson, the cover shot of Get Behind Me Satan should come as a relief: He has turned Goth mariachi instead, offsetting Meg White's proffered white apple. Better news is the highly compressed opener, "Blue Orchid," on which Jack sounds like Prince, all fidgeting falsetto. On the Stones-y "Forever for Her (Is Over for Me)," Jack's blue mewl is pure Mick. Elephant-ine bombast still flares up in the spaces among Meg's halting drum beats on "The Nurse" and "Red Rain," but the rhythmic touches of marimba, bells, xylophone, and piano add more sonic color to the White Stripes' austere palette.

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Andy Beta