But this is America. The White Stripes still don't have a bona fide hit song -- a they-play-it-at-Legacy-Village hit. So the cutesy red/white outfit thing is looking like Flock of Seagulls hair to Johnny Sixpack. And the in-crowd that once propped them now loves to leave 'em. So it's very possible that this act could sink any minute now into Tracy Chapman territory -- critical faves playing vaguely rootsy music to mainstreeters who still don't much like roots music.
So what does the Detroit duo do? By all recent accounts, it thrashes about with a big loud angry angle, right into the faces of its largest, squarest audiences yet. It's an obvious tack, given that most post-indie rockers can't just enjoy their success -- they must explain it to the cred gatekeepers. We're not so sure it wouldn't be better if the Stripes just went all Eurythmics and got a full band and played epic pop, what with those melodramatic pipes Jack White's got. Of course, there's a very good chance this ex-goth kid still hates the world, so get ready for more bitching, which is usually preferable to contentment when it comes to art. This could get interesting.