The tandem of Jack and Meg White is at the top of its game on the follow-up to 2001's breakout hit, White Blood Cells.

The tandem of Jack and Meg White is at the top of its game on the follow-up to 2001's breakout hit, White Blood Cells. Like its three predecessors, Elephant is steeped in dirty delta blues and ragged Zeppelin-influenced guitar riffs. But never has the pair sounded more fresh and self-assured; nor has it delivered such a fully realized work before. The devil is in the details here: From the faux bassline of "Seven Nation Army" and the soaring chorus of "There's No Home for You Here" to the cackling romp of "Black Math," the album's success is as much rooted in its nuances as in its power. Drummer Meg White even makes a go at lead vocals on "In the Cold, Cold Night." More accessible than earlier works but no less uncompromising, Elephant is a lo-fi gem that confirms the White Stripes to be the real deal.—BG