White Stripes - De Stijl 12"
Despite their reputation as garage rock revivalists, the White Stripes display an impressive range of styles on their second album, De Stijl, which is Dutch for "the style." Perhaps the album's diversity -- which incorporates elements of bubblegum, cabaret, blues, and classic rock -- shouldn't come as a surprise from a band that dedicates its album to bluesman Blind Willie McTell and Dutch artist Gerrit Rietveld. Nevertheless, it's refreshing to hear the band go from the Tommy James-style pop of "You're Pretty Good Looking" to the garagey stomp of "Hello Operator" in a one-two punch. As distinctive as it is diverse, De Stijl blends the Stripes' arty leanings with enough rock muscle to back up the band's ambitions.