Most bands who have a hit record take their time with the follow-up and try to do at least something vaguely similar (witness Coldplay, for example). The White Stripes, however, are not like most bands. Having hit paydirt with the monumental Elephant, Jack and Meg apparently knocked this one out in under two weeks, largely discarding their heavy electric guitar sound in the process. Instead, piano and acoustic strummings dominate the proceedings here, along with alt-country stylings and Jack's increasingly menacing falsetto. As you would expect, there's plenty of great songs - but also quite a few that sound half-finished and a slightly whiny tone that suggests Jack's break-up with Renee Zellwegger has hurt him more than he lets on. The Detroit duo are still one of the most intriguing outfits around, and this is still a very good album. But even geniuses can't afford to get too self-indulgent.