“The Denial Twist” notes that a kiss, dance or touch isn’t as powerful as love from the soul. It suggests cutting big problems down to size (“Take a mountain, turn it into a molehill”). On “Passive Manipulation” Meg White tells women to heed Mom’s advice and discern what men really want. Following a breakup on “Forever for Her (Is Over for Me),” a guy admits, “I blew it, and if I knew what to do, then I’d do it.” Primarily an ode to a vaporous lady, “Little Ghost” says, “It’s not yet time to meet the Lord above.”
Sexual come-ons on “Instinct Blues” and “Forever for Her (Is Over for Me)” allude to the behavior of birds, bees and other amorous critters. An ill patient is paranoid that his caregiver will wound, poison or smother him on “The Nurse,” a dark metaphor for being betrayed by a loved one. Desperate for companionship, the singer teeters on the brink of moral compromise on “I’m Lonely (But I Ain’t That Lonely Yet).” A mild profanity mars “The Denial Twist.” After a few drinks, a male fan obsesses over 1940s actress Rita Hayworth on “Take, Take, Take.”
The blistering guitar licks and Robert Plant-style vocals of the duo’s last effort have been replaced by eclectic sounds. The lyrics? Still vague, so what’s questionable isn’t extreme but warrants discussion.