Just a guitar, a voice and some drums: Who knew something so simple could spread so far in all directions on the art-thought spectrum? Minimalist yet meaty, The White Stripes flex their gray matter as much as their emotional muscle. With few uncalculated steps, there's little excess to muddle up your ears and cover up slip-ups, which sets them apart from most power duos. In other words, that aggressive "I have to make up for a missing bassist" mentality is nowhere to be found. It's just a steady embrace of the joy of clean simplicity, like a long shower after a grimy road trip. Which isn't to say slide guitar grit doesn't seep from its pores at times. Think sober focused Southern rock blues, a la (dare I compare) Led Zeppelin. But you can decipher (to a point) what is happening in the arty strum bits, blues progressions and vigorous tempo exercises.