Sound — 10
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".
Lyrics — 10
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.
Overall Impression — 10
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.