Icky Thump review by The White Stripes

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  • Released: Jun 19, 2007
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.4 (297 votes)
The White Stripes: Icky Thump

Sound — 10
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!"

Lyrics — 9
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.

Overall Impression — 10
"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!

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    HoboDeter X
    I like The White Stripes, but come on! The album isn't as good as you guys are saying it is. The guitar solos on the album are some of the worst I've heard from The White Stripes. Espeacially on Icky Thump its more noise than anything. Also the keyboard solo is sped up for no reason at all. Otherwise it is still a good album. I just wish that Jack would really try something different.
    I like it. It's very classic rockish. but yet very modern. And it isn't rock thats so loud the singer has to scream. I like it.