There's a palpable sense of excitement around The White Stripes at the moment, with some music journalists proclaiming the Detroit duo as nothing less than the future of rock 'n' roll. Jack and Meg White may be brother and sister but they're certainly not the new Carpenters - their music has a manic, intense quality that often makes for highly uneasy listening. White Blood Cells is their third album and it's a huge leap forward, combining the raw energy of punk with glorious pop melodies and a passing nod to their blues heritage. For once the hype is right - there's a classic, unvarnished feel about this record that makes it a clear contender for one of the albums of the year.