We should have seen it coming; the clues were all there. The White Stripes breakup was looming and imminent. When Jack White joined the Raconteurs and the Dead Weather and started lending his talents to Beck, Alicia Keys, and Wanda Jackson, we wondered how he was going to find time to keep the White Stripes going.
When he started Third Man Records, he started dropping some clues. For a man with an identity painted by the same red, black, and white crayons that the White Stripes were, it seemed a little weird that label's logo would be black and yellow. And the label's signature colored vinyl scheme? The black and blue record. With the White Stripes, he may have painted himself in a corner, and clearly White was trying to scribble his way out.
The announcement of their breakup earlier today came as a shock to some, and some others had actually thought they were already broken up. Which is a fair assumption; it's been almost four years since their last album, and last year's movie Under Great White Northern Lights is the last piece of "new" material from the band.
Per their announcement, it's not a creative-differences or health-issues-type of breakup. It's "mostly to preserve What is beautiful and special about the band and have it stay that way."
Let us offer some breakup theories -- hidden right in their songs.
"You're Pretty Good Looking for a Girl"
As beautiful as their brother/sister/ex-husband/ex-wife union was and if you run with the assumption that this song is about and for Meg: Jack is keeping her around, just because she'll do, until he's bored of her.
"I'm Bound to Pack It Up"
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Eleven years before the band's breakup and probably just a few months before their divorce, Jack sounds like he's gonna up and leave. Someday.
I think we need look no further than this track. They're saying: "when we are out of ways to make this band fun, we're done."