A live sensation, the White Stripes have been selling out clubs in rock hubs across the country (including three recent New York shows that saw several rock celebrities getting their eardrums splinter

A live sensation, the White Stripes have been selling out clubs in rock hubs across the country (including three recent New York shows that saw several rock celebrities getting their eardrums splintered along with those of the unwashed). Recorded in Memphis, this is the Detroit brother-and-sister duo's third disc for the Sympathy for the Record Industry label, and it trades in the Robert Johnson and Dolly Parton covers that go over so well live for more of singer/guitarist/keyboardist Jack White's hard-blues, garage-rock originals. Elemental is the word—Meg White's drumming is strictly AC/DC—but that doesn't mean there isn't ambition here. Unlike with such precursors as the Cramps, the songs aren't just about girls and cars. And Jack has an exciting, individual guitar sound that really powers colossal rockers like "Expecting." On the other side of the dynamic range, there is the organ-drenched, Citizen Kane-derived mini-epic "The Union Forever." Obviously, it's still Detroit rock city for these kids.—BB