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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 ...Read more ›
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was looking for something new to listen to. I'm over 40 (but not dead) and hate listening to the packaged crap played on modern radio. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Nater Tater
It's classic White Stripes. Icky Thump is them at their finest moment and easily one of their more complete albums.Published 5 months ago by Michael H
So, as of the time I'm writing this, White Stripes have dissolved, but this was their final regular album, and it was a good one - certainly in the top half of their work. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Sex_Engr_RockNRoll
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|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
It IS on vinyl and can be ordered from whitestripes.com.
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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