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Icky Thump

4.2 out of 5 stars 278 customer reviews

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Multimedia CD, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The platinum-selling, multi-Grammyr- winning and highly acclaimed The White Stripes move to Warner Bros. for Icky Thump, the most sonically bombastic album the band has made. While revealing the band's roots in American folk music, Icky Thump is an explosive, revolutionary assault that brings together garage rock, every blues style of the past 100 years, nouveau flamenco, Jack White's fastest guitar solo ever recorded, hard country, speed metal, a slide guitar epic, surf music, spoken word and even bagpipes to create a modern rock 'n' roll masterpiece.

Bagpipes, a song written as the soundtrack to a Michel Gondry music video, Patti Page's musical shadow, and Jack and Meg co-narrating a scavenger's rummages: It must be time for Icky Thump, the many-flavored riposte to 2006's Get Behind Me Satan. The duo starts big with the title track--Jack's fast-tumbling, falsetto-tinged lyrics jagging on hyper keyboard-sounding segues and Meg's pounding drums. They rarely shy from an idea, invoking acoustic Bob Dylan to frame "300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues," but interjecting a series of distortion-laden guitar paroxysms for good measure. The end of Icky, on "Effect and Cause," is where Jack's trademark vocal warble and spare, quick acoustic strums meet Meg's single-minded beats. Everywhere on Icky giant riffs leap and shout, with Flamenco horns and those eerie bagpipes and rhythmic shifts and Jack's impatient vocal kinetics, marking new territories even as the White Stripes again populate them with vintage ideas. --Andrew Bartlett
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 19, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros. /Third Man
  • ASIN: B000OYC3J8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (278 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,344 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's hard not to think that Jack White has developed something of an ego--after all, when music critics call you a genius for anything as small as slapping an organ around a bit, it must be hard not to get a little bit of a God complex.

But if he has, he has not let it diffuse the element of play and seeming improvisation that brings the White Stripes sound together. The White Stripes is where Jack White is at the height of his powers. His brief excursion into The Raconteurs with Broken Boy Soldiers felt too constricted and lacking energy, and in other projects he didn't sound as though he was having all that much fun. Many regard Get Behind Me Satan as dark White Stripes, but I don't go along with that diagnosis--there are way too many fluctuations about that disc even that keeps me from thinking that Jack and Meg were getting too dour during that recording session.

With rock 'n' roll creature Meg White, the music becomes music again, playing with all types of sounds and styles and maybe even poking a little fun at musical schools that we may take a little too seriously. This IS rock, after all, and if we can end "I'm Slowly Turning Into You" with a repetitive La chorus, what the hell? Why not? "Rag and Bone" is an exquisite track with its shout-outs as though one is listening in on take 1, and the plain out noise assault of the the title track lets you know that you're not in for the the old heavy-yet-light-since-there-are-only-two-of-them bluesiness of
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Format: Audio CD
For a band that exists based on constrictions, the White Stripes increase their versatility with each album. Yes, there are blues stompers and rockers, but Icky Thump has bagpipes, mariachi trumpets, and an ethereal spoken word number by Meg.
For those looking for traditional White Stripes blues rock, you have Catch Hell Blues, I'm Slowly Turning Into You, and the stand outs Bone Broke and 300 MPH Outpour Blues.
And then there's the title track, which, while rocking, ventures into oddball territory with one of the first synthesizers ever made, with a deep Moog-ish sound, and some politically-minded but slightly inscrutable lyrics.
The bagpipe "suite" Prickly Thorn But Sweetly Worn/St. Andrew is, according to Jack White, a nod to both Stripes' Scottish heritage, the first which would have been in good company on the Cold Mountain soundtrack, the second a noisy ditty featuring Meg's spoken word, which fortunately improves with multiple listens.
The other standout tracks are Conquest, a Patty Page cover which mixes trumpets with Jack's pounding guitar riffs, Effect and Cause, the fun Loretta Lynnish closer, and Rag and Bone, a blues track that sums up the ideology behind the Stripes and this album in particular- Jack and Meg go searching for other people's junk to "give it a home" and "make something out of it."

For her part, Meg's drumming has never sounded better.
And Jack, in this humble reviewer's opinion, is THE songwriter of our generation. Even some of the lesser tracks are better than almost anything else out these days.

With each listen I'm finding something new to love about Icky Thump, and more to love from my (obviously) favorite band.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As a child of the 80s, yet a 60s and 70s Rock fan I can say that the Stripes are leagues ahead of their peers in what they are doing with their sound. Very few bands (I.E. the Beatles, Led Zepplin) produce albums where I consistently listen to EVERY album. What makes them unique? First they obviously touch the roots of rock and roll by leaning on the blues a bit. Second, they take the blues and craft songs around the styles and make them their own. The White Stripes have been very successful for six albums in continuing to reinvent and invigorate their style of music without forgetting these roots. While the Stripes have nowhere near the sales of the aforementioned or others at this time, 20 years down the road who will be one of the legends of this time? My bet is on the Stripes.

Since everyone else has to do it: My order: De Stijl, Icky Thump, Elephant, Get Behind me Satan, White Blood Cells, The White Stripes

My early favs:

1) Catch Hell Blues--no one really has mentioned this gem in other reviews--but like the under appreciated "Red Rain" from the last album has an epic feel to it.
2) You Don't Know What Love Is. Great song. Sounds like a earlier improvement on punk songs like Fell in Love with a Girl, etc.
3) Icky Thump. Title track continues to rope folks in.
4) Rag and Bone. Great all around deep song.
5) Conquest. New angle and shows Jack's vocal depth.

Get this album if you are a long term fan of the Stripes. Get this album if you are interested in a great American band whose fame hasn't soured their sound.
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Format: Audio CD
Whatever idiot mastered this CD made it so loud that the drums crunch and clip during particularly loud parts. This is particularly noticeable during the chorus on track 3 and the 0:05 part in Icky Thump.

The vinyl version was mastered by a different person and has none of this terrible clipping, plus all the different instruments sound more distinct and snappy. Get that instead.
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WS UK obsession
(Reply to Favian Garcia)

Yes, yes, yes. We Americans apparently only care about trendy "today" artists. That is, until an oldie or a goodie (or a good oldie) passes on. Then it's all over the news, on TV in specials and on every magazine cover everywhere. The only thing that could... Read More
Jul 1, 2007 by Bryan M. MCNEELY |  See all 15 posts
On vinyl?
It IS on vinyl and can be ordered from

Edit: oops! looks like it sold out already.. Sorry! My copy sounds excellent and came with a candy colored slip mat for my turntable.

check local record stores or ebay..
Jun 19, 2007 by Scott C. White |  See all 8 posts
what does the title mean?
It is a reference to the saying 'Ecky Thump', an English expression. Jack claims that his wife mis-pronounces it "Icky", hence the title. Jack also humorously says the misspelling is for "kicks and metaphors" and to avoid a potential lawsuit with Billy Eckstine. (I think that...
Jun 13, 2007 by S. G. Tait |  See all 3 posts
I cannot seem to rip this CD
well according to the RIAA, apparently (since they now consider themselves lawmakers too), you're not allowed to listen to the music you own unless in a way they see fit. Thus, apparently, to listen to something on an iPod "legally", you need to buy the album from itunes.

Though, of... Read More
Jun 21, 2007 by Mike Schmitt |  See all 7 posts
Advice for a new-comer...
the stripes are a changing entity. if one were to want to listen to the more "mainstream" or widely known white stripes then one would start with elephant and icky thump, particularly the songs seven nation army and icky thump. then listen to the rest of those two albums through. the... Read More
Mar 7, 2008 by Cicero |  See all 2 posts
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