Icky Thump Review

artist: white stripes date: 07/23/2007 category: compact discs
white stripes: Icky Thump
Release Date: June 19, 2007
Label: Warner Bros. Records
Genres: Garage rock, alternative rock
Number Of Tracks: 13
The White Stripes have released their most engaging, beautifully spastic CD yet with Icky Thump.
 Sound: 9.6
 Lyrics: 9.6
 Overall Impression: 9.6
 Overall rating:
 9.4 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.5 
 Users rating:
 9.3 
 Votes:
 296 
reviews (9) 113 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.3
Icky Thump Reviewed by: UG Team, on june 19, 2007
19 of 20 people found this review helpful

Sound: It's obvious that The White Stripes relish dipping into as many genres as humanly possible, and their latest release Icky Thump fully accomplishes that goal. When fame hits, certain bands take full advantage of creative freedom and The White Stripes are one of a few bands that have taken that to the extreme - successfully. Thankfully, Jack White has both the talent and charisma to pull it off. While Icky Thump might tread too much territory for the average radio listener, fans of the White Stripes should be fascinated by the latest songs, which cover everything from a Mariachi-inspired theme to a Scottish traditional. Be prepared for what you're in for when you listen to Icky Thump. It's all over the place genre-wise, but White Stripes fans probably expect that from the eclectic music man that Jack White is. The title track Icky Thump is as manic as it gets, starting out with what sounds like bagpipes but is apparently a keyboard, followed soon after by an infectious rock riff that pops up intermittently. White's vocals are spastic and emotional, making them a perfect fit for the unusual track. At first listen it's a lot to take in, but Icky Thump is a pretty genius track that is hands-down the best track on the CD. Conquest, a cover originally performed by the 50's songstress Patti Page, features Mariachi-styled trumpet playing and could be an easy fit to set up a showdown in vintage cinema. The trumpet and electric guitar play back and forth throughout, almost as if in a very showdown themselves. It transcends just being a rock song and could easily be fit into any soundtrack, particularly in the whole El Mariachi series. Meg White's primal beats are present underneath it all, and her trademark percussion style has actually never sounded better. With a bit of Led Zeppelin and a lot of traditional Scottish folk music, Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn is an earthy track that starts out with a mandolin and the bagpipe-sound once again (while some sources again have stated this is a keyboard, this track feels very, very close to the real thing). With a repeating chorus of Singing li-di-li-d-li-lo, it is the antithesis of a rock song, and the band has to be commended for the gutsy move. Rock purists may tire of this track, but musically it's still a strong piece of work. There are some slow moments on the CD like the fairly straightforward ballad You Don't Know What Love Is, but the vast majority of the tracks have more than a few interesting moments along the way. Meg White also gets a chance to step into the spotlight once again with St. Andrew (The Battle Is In The Air), an emotional, spoken-word prayer that calls upon a defender in the fight against evil. It is short in length, but it is an engaging track nonetheless. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics on Icky Thump are just as unique as the music backing it up. The down-home blues track Rag & Bone actually is spoken just as much as it's sung, and Jack White continues to make down-home, quips as if a wayfaring traveler, while Meg sounds off in approval. Meg asks, I saw some stuff in here - are you going to give it to us? Jack returns, Oh, Meg, don't be rude. They might need it. If you don't want it, we'll take it. If you don't want to give it to us, we'll keep walking by. You almost feel like you're scavenging along with Jack and Meg, and it makes for a fun ride. Icky Thump doesn't fail to deliver clever, offbeat lyrics, either. Jack sings, Red-head seorita; Lookin' dead; Came to said, 'I need a bed' en espaol. It has its own story, even if it's a fairly vague and unusual one. And when you tack on Jack's delivery to the lyrics, it makes it all a bit more intriguing. In the end, it's obvious that Jack isn't rehashing the same old rhyme schemes that have been used in the past, and that's the most refreshing aspect of the lyrics. // 10

Overall Impression: The White Stripes' latest release is one that a lot of people will need at least a few listens to full absorb. You're taken in a lot of different directions, and some might not like every stop made along the way. From spoken word to 60's-inspired guitar rock, Icky Thump does seem to cover it all. But for every song you're unsure about, there is like to be 2 or 3 that you'll sit back and realize that The White Stripes are at the top of their game. While Jack and Meg play pretty much any style they attempt competently, they will always be naturals when it comes to the gritty blues sound heard on earlier releases. Catch Hell Blues, a fairly standard blues track, stands out just as much as the spastic masterpieces heard on Icky Thump, and Jack White's guitar work is a huge reason why the band is able to transform a fairly straightforward blues song into an inspired opus. // 9

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overall: 9.3
Icky Thump Reviewed by: auranos, on june 21, 2007
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: "Icky Thump" is a return to the fuzz-laden blues/rock that catapulted the White Stripes into stardom. The quirky duo rocks out with the title track, also called "Icky Thump". While Jack cuts loose with wild vocals, fuzz, and squeals, Meg anchors the rhythm with a kick drum beat you can almost march with. Rag & Bone employs an infectious guitar riff while Jack and Meg play the part of poor junk collectors. Throughout the verses, Jack and Meg abandon traditional singing roles for conversation. St. Andrew (This Battle is in The Air) is delightfully experimental. Meg's synthetic-sounding vocals, the bagpipes, and the electric guitar that refuses to stay on key all combine to open your ears to a unique experience. From the fuzzy in your face rock of Little Cream Soda to the bi-polar blues of 300 MPH Torrential Outpour Blues, this is and album that is able to remain simple and powerful while retaining the signature zaniness and wild experimentation of the White Stripes. // 10

Lyrics: Jack sings with the emotion of a seasoned bluesman and infuses his songs with lyrics are equal parts storytelling and emotional release. Jack even addresses the current immigration issue in the US with "Icky Thump". Meg has progressed as well. Her vocals on St. Andrew are a perfect fit, and I'm not just saying that because she's as cute as a kitten. // 9

Overall Impression: This is the best White Stripes release yet. I instantly had to learn "Icky Thump" and "Rag & Bone" after buying the CD. I highly recommend this album to anyone with open ears. This is easily one of the best albums of 2007 and I would be shocked if the Stripes didn't take home at least one or two Grammies with this thing. // 9

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overall: 10
Icky Thump Reviewed by: EVANescence1500, on june 19, 2007
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: Fans of the White Stripes know that to label them as "unique" is in and of itself an understatement. Calling the White Stripes "unique" is along the same lines as calling Pablo Picasso a "good" painter or Albert Einstein a "smart" man, the fact remains that using such a mundane term in any of the three cases is an injustice as well as an insult to the talents that each possessed, and in the case of the White Stripes, still possesses. The White Stripes carry with them a charisma, an attitude, and a sound that has been unmatched in recent years, and their new album "Icky Thump" stays true to the White Stripes tradition and ultimately brings them one step closer to cementing their rock n roll legacy. As far as sound is concerned, you would be hard pressed to find another album out there today that equals the level of diversity and multi-dimension of "Icky Thump", it is an album that goes back to basics, staying true to the roots of rock n roll and paying homage to its predecessors, and nowhere is this more evident then in the sound of the music itself. From the dirty guitars to the rhythmic blues, the screeching guitars to the church organs, the horns to the bagpipes, the sound of this album spans both genres and generations, helping to resurrect the classic rock sound and bring it forth to a modern audience, a Modern Classic Rock if you will. It is a sound that defies categorization and classification, shatters musical conventions and ultimately blurs the line between genres to such an extent that the lines themselves seemingly cease to exist. It is a sound that bridges gaps and builds bridges, bringing individuals from all walks of life and all tastes in music together, that is the sound of the White Stripes, and that is the sound of "Icky Thump". // 10

Lyrics: As far as the lyrics are concerned, the lyrics themselves are just as versatile as the music that accompanies it. Each song on the album seemingly takes you on an entirely different journey, and the lyrics themselves help to cement that feeling. The lyrics, combined with the manner in which they are delivered set the mood and create an atmosphere that is entirely unique, whether it be the half spoken/half sung lyrics of "Rag and Bone", or the slower, more melodic delivery of the lyrics to "A Martyr For My Love For You", or the blues inspired lyrical delivery behind "Effect and Cause", these are just a few examples of the ways in which the lyrics in these songs help to convey certain feelings, which, when combined with the signature vocal sound of Jack White, goes straight for the jugular and pulls the listener along for the ride. With regards to the lyrical range of topics discussed on this album, the subject matter borders along the lines of downright bizarre, this in turn only helps to fuel the fire. The lyrics touch on topics ranging from female players to cream soda, as well as a few songs discussing more conventional topics such as love and relationships, with each song possessing the signature rhyme and flow that we have come to associate with the White Stripes. // 10

Overall Impression: As far as my overall impressions of this album, I am quite satisfied both as a White Stripes fan and fan of rock music in general. The White Stripes as a band have always pushed the limits as far as their musicianship is concerned, fusing together multiple styles, genres, and instruments to create their own brand of music if you will. Their music has always remained fresh, innovative, edgy, and perhaps most importantly of all, consistent, and "Icky Thump" stands as a testament to their consistency. In my opinion, the most impressive songs on the album include: "Icky Thump", "Conquest", "Catch Hell Blues", and "Effect and Cause" If it were lost/stolen, I would most definitely buy it again. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Icky Thump Reviewed by: tomisamonkeyman, on june 19, 2007
1 of 8 people found this review helpful

Sound: The White Stripes are back and rockin. Guitarist, Singer, and Piano player Jack White was with The Raconteurs for awile but now he is back with Meg White on the drum kit. Their new album Icky Thump is a great way to start things back up again. The sound is very interesting on this album. It is a sound that I can't describe. The first song off the album is Icky Thump. This song is great. Meg White has a thumping bass drum through out the song. I love Jack Whites singing in this song. Also the guitars roar. The next track is You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told). This song is very catchy, one of my favorites. The song is good start to finish with great music and lyrics. Up next is 300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues. This song has a very interesting riff played. It is more of a mellow song. Also the lyrics are cool in this song. Conquest is the next track. This song is very weird. It wasnt what I expected. It has some horns in it which is different. Also the thing I noticed about this songs is Jack sings really good in it. Bone Broke is the next song. This song will remind you of just normal White Stripes stuff. Its a cool song because it has a cool guitar riff and Jack just screams in it. The next two songs are very intresting, they also connect with each other. Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn and St. Andrew (This Battle Is In The Air) are two songs with a very different sound, it sounds kind of Irish. Also St. Andrew (This Battle Is In The Air) kind of reminds me of the ending of The Who's Baba O Riley. Little Cream Soda is the next track, this song is very heavy. It sounds kind of metal. Its a good song though, its another loud distorted guitar song, which is never a bad thing. Next is the blues influenced song titled Rag & Bone. This song reminds me of John Lee Hookers Boogie Chillun. In the song a simple riff is played and Jack and Meg have conversations through out the song. Im Slowly Turning Into You comes up next. Jack White sings great in this song. Also I love the riff in the song. This song is probably my favorite of the album. Next track is A Martyr For My Love For You. The drums fit great in this song. Jack sings very calmly in this song. Its very catchy and its also one of my favorites. Catch Hell Blues is another blues influenced song. Jack White plays a great slide guitar. Its pretty catchy. I like that fact that it is more bluesy then the other tacks. And the last song on the album is Effect & Cause. This song is kind of country like other White Stripes songs such as It's True That We Love One Another and Your Southern Can Is Mine. Its a nice way to end the album with some basic drums and Jack just strumming some chords and singing along. // 9

Lyrics: Well as far as the singing goes this is Jacks best vocals on an album in my opinion. He just sings with such heart and passion, its great. Also his voice is one of a kind. The lyrics are pretty good on this album. A few lines that I enjoy are "You can't be a pimp and a prostitute too" from the song Icky Thump. Also I like the line "I'm breaking my teeth off, trying to bite my lip" from 300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues. And also I just like the line You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told). // 9

Overall Impression: Overall this album is great. My favorites are You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told), I'm Slowly Turning Into You, and A Martyr For My Love For You. This album will probably be the best album of the summer because I think The White Stripes are way ahead of every other musical act around these days. This album is also really good cause it has alot of different sounds. You have mellow songs like You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told)and A Martyr For My Love For You, hard rockers like Icky Thump, Bone Broke, and Little Cream Soda, blues influenced songs like Rag & Bone and Catch Hell Blues, and a ton more of intresting/different songs. Any one with good taste in any type of rock music should buy this album. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Icky Thump Reviewed by: 100%guitarmad, on june 25, 2007
1 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: Amazing tone and effects. Completely addictive, you can't stop listening to it! The band have really thought about every song, especially 'Rag and Bone', a simple, yet very affective song, with comedy, and brilliant lyrics. There is one problem with the quality of the recording, if you listen closely, but that, basically is it. There is barely any repitition in the whole album, Jack and Mag have really taken their time on Icky Thump. // 9

Lyrics: Brilliantly thought out and really fit with the song. I've listened to the songs so many times that I know all the lyrics Jack and Meg have started to sing together more on the album, and it makes it brilliant. I don't know what else to say about the lyrics on this album, just well done! // 10

Overall Impression: If someone stole it, I would kill them, take it back, kick the persons' gravestone, buy a new one if I couldn't find it, then lock it up in a safe within a safe within a safe! Anyway, back to the point. My favourite songs on the album are 'Rag and Bone', 'Icky Thump', and 'Slowly Turning Into You'. Icky Thump is the best song on the album, standing out as a different style from the rest. This album rocks! If you haven't already bought it, shame! // 9

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overall: 9
Icky Thump Reviewed by: hellfire21, on july 23, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: This CD is put together beutifully. The sound ranges from spoken word songs, like "Rag & Bone", to Scottish like song, "Prickly Thorn But Sweetly Worn". The sound on Jack White's guitar solos are amzing. I may be a guitarist but I still can't figure out how he does that. I also love the simple drum beats of Meg White. She does her job well. It's amazing how good they are considering that they have no bass player. I've always loved the sound of the White Stripes and that doesn't stop here. A 9 for the White Stripes sound. // 9

Lyrics: Jack White is one of the best singers I've ever heard. He reaches notes that I could never reach (I'm a singer in my own band). Meg White also contributes to the CD on "Rag & Bone". I do prefer her vocals on " In The Cold, Cold Night", but she still makes me laugh on "Rag & Bone". But Jack White is an amazing vocalist and reaches great points on this cd. Another 9 for Jack, Meg and the White Stripes. // 9

Overall Impression: This is my second favorite White Stripes cd, next to "Elephant". But this is certainly a CD to buy for Stripes fans. My favorites are "Icky Thump", "300 m.p.h Torrential Outpour Blues", "Rag & Bone", and "Little Cream Soda". But I don't like "Prickly Thorn But Sweetly Worn" and "St. Andrew (The Battle Is In The Air". But still, a great album out of the White Stripes. A 9 for "Icky Thump". // 9

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overall: 10
Icky Thump Reviewed by: ellimem, on june 22, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The White Stripes have now done it. They have touched upon every single music influence and they have done it on one CD. Jack White's guitar work once again was better than anyone anticipated and this time around everyone was expecting a lot. Meg White's primal guitar phrases are simply astounding. She may not be the flashiest but her basic rhythm is amazing. The way the Stripes put this album together they should get several awards. // 10

Lyrics: Jack White Doesn't have the best of all voices but his falsetto skills are great. His voice is a perfect counter to his low guitar. The Lyrics all sound as if they should be in a Silverstein book of Poems. All of the songs have strong meaning and were written with passion. Only someone who loves what he is doing can do his Job so well. Meg White's soft simple voice is just awesome to hear. To get her out from behind the drums and out there singing is wonderful. // 10

Overall Impression: This album as great as it is isn't as good as either White Blood Cells or Elephant. Icky thump is the high point on the album. Also Conquest, Catch Hell Blues and Martyr are amazing. I love the White Stripes and what they do. If you are a fan of Indie music or anything obscure you will enjoy this album. There is not much to hate on this album. Also if you are an aspiring guitarist I recommend picking up this album to hear Jack White who is one of the best in the business today and ever. If I lost this album I would buy it again as soon as I had the money. // 10

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overall: 10
Icky Thump Reviewed by: winningdays, on july 12, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Pounding out hit records has always been all in a days work for the white stripes. Icky Thumps predecessor was recorded and written in 8 days. The previous elephant in 10. Which is what has always been so gripping about them. They leave you expecting nothing better and then they throw together an album in a short time. When it was announced that Icky Thump took five weeks to record and also that it was recorded in an actual studio, fans knew something special was coming, how right we were. The CD opens with the pounding single "Icky Thump" with Megs minimalist drumming and jacks loud guitar in full force. It's after the first song that the sound breaks away and treads into new territory. "You don't know what love is" brings in an old time country feel remniscent of "You're pretty good looking (for a girl)" But the main difference, White has layered his guitar tracks. Gone is the simple rhythm guitar pound, and is replaced by layered intricate guitar and organ sections. Other key tracks include the surfer metal pound of "Little Cream Soda" the bloody brilliant "Rag and Bone" and the albums folk jam closer "Effect and Cause" The album also shows major strides as a vocalist. First, he sings high, very high at points, impossibly high for typical Jack White (listen to "Conquest" for proof) which contrasts with the often spoken word vocals that fill the album. // 10

Lyrics: Lyrically the CD is a stride in a new area. From Immigration, to a cover of an anti sexist anthem. What hasn't changed is his ability to tell stories. "Rag and Bone" finds Jack and Meg playing the roles of travelling grifters who take peoples trash and resell it. what's most impressive is the soft loud tension achieved on rag and bone and other spoken word tracks like it. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall impression, I was blown away. I was expecting something completely different than the album that was made. After Get Behind Me Satan I was expecting another piano driven rock album (not that there would be anything wrong with that). White lets out his inner guitar beast, and proves once again that he can wail circles around most of todays players. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Icky Thump Reviewed by: Kittycap, on july 16, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: First of all fun fact: Jack white almost became a priest! Can you believe that? Especially with the title of the stripes last album -'Get Behind Me Satan'. Personally I can't stop listening to this album and was quite disappointed to learn that Jack White was indeed married to some woman named Karen and had a child named Scarlet. The album 'Icky Thump' is quite a trip to be honest and is a real sum up of the white stripes style (they've been at this for 10 releasing 6 studio albums inc. 'icky thump'). Even if you hadn't heard that White has been living in Nashville -country music central- since last year you might have guessed it by the sounds of tracks on the album such as "You Don't know what love is" and " effect and Cause". These tracks really could be country style songs and in a recent interview with Rip It Up magazine White agreed saying "We love country music... there's a couple of songs on here, "You don't know what love is" and "Effect and Cause" that really, really feel like country songs". But don't be put off by that! It's country with a twist like taking the edge off vodka with good ol' lemon aide. Another surprise (trademarks of the stripes)is the appearance of Bagpipes in tracks "Prickly thorn, but sweetly worn" and "St. Andrew". Not being a fan of scottish flavor anything (Tripe: need I say more) I tend to skip these tracks. Another feature is the cover of "Conquest" originally written by Corky Robbins were mariachi style (kinda Mexican sounding) make a show. "Martyr for my love for you" has an errie pop sound to it. But other than these beautiful oddities it could be descibed as garage blues rock and downright catchy with big sounding guitar and typical white synths. The record was recorded in Nashville 5 minutes up the road from where White lives at Blackwood studios. They used many different microphones (Blackwood has one of the greatest microphone collections with microphones from the 40s and 50s)to experiment with the sound and get really warm sounding tones. And believe me they have accomplished this with one of the largest sounding albums so far from the stripes. As a band they prefer old school recording techniques and use reel-to-reel instead of going digital like so many other bands today. Little tip: at the end of "a little cream soda" turn it up loud and listen to the silence after the song finishes, you can hear someone taking a Polaroid!, an apparent downside to recording reel-to-reel is that you have to stay silent for 10 after the note. They also used two different drum sets through out the recording. A fact they both seem proud of. The name of the album came from the English saying "by ecky thump!" // 10

Lyrics: Well Jack White wrote them (excluding conquest) and they have typical references to red, white and Black and the number 7&3 (naturally). I think they're very clever and one of my favorite has to be "White Americans, what? Nothing better to do? Why don't you kick yourself out- you're an immigrant too". Meg's voice makes appearances on two songs (unless you count back up in "you don't know what love is") in "st. Andrew" and "Rag and Bone," just talking mind. Jack has a way of singing/talking kinda thing going on and yeah he is sometimes a little out and not American idol material, I'll admit, but it's unique and reminds me of blues singers where they do it to show the passion behind the words. The lyrics really reflect and blend well with the music accompaniment. // 9

Overall Impression: "Icky Thump" is a real hit and rightly so. "Bone Broke" is hot "Little Cream soda" is rocky and "catch hell blues" is downright cool! In comparison to artists today they are so original and free and I'm looking forward to their next album. My "overall impression" is god I wish Jack White wasn't married! // 10

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