Bitter-Sweet

The White Stripes make annoyingly good music

When Jack White isn't singing, he may be the most thoroughly unendurable rock star since Sting. White insists that he and drummer Meg White are brother and sister (they're actually ex-husband and wife); he also considers himself a modern bluesman, wears his red band uniform offstage and uses the liner notes of his new album, Elephant, for a jeremiad on "the death of the sweetheart." He's like a vigilante grad student holding a highlighter pen to your throat--except when he sings. Jack White can really sing.

White has a voice like Robert Plant's: he's electric in his upper register, and he...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!