Jun 21, 2007

Icky Thump-The White Stripes

Consider "Icky Thump" to be another chapter in the Rock 'n' Roll book that is Jack White's life. Consider it be very good. Consider this opinion, Jack White still has it. That is, he still produces exciting, thrilling, but gusting music which attacks the nervous system with little darts of Rock 'n' Roll fury. The White Stripes are here again ladies and gentlemen and "Icky Thump" brings back the sounds we love. After the experimental tweaks of "Get Behind Me Satan" which didn't always satisfy, this album satisfies on many occasions. Recorded in 3 weeks in Nashville's Blackbird Studios you can feel the sticky garage rock with a slight country feel oozing through the cracks in the songs. It's raw, pulsating, vivacious music which delivers in bucket loads.

The first song (the title track) is probably well known by now. It is a perfect way to start the album. A veritable force of nature, its angular rhythms and pulsating beat will have your head rocking in no time. The next two songs are two of my favourites. With "You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told)" you can feel the Nashville influence seeping in and "300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues" is a hulking beast of a song, quietly building before bursting into life. There are many other songs to love. "Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn" is a great change of pace with its hand claps and bagpipes, "Rag & Bone" is hilarious with Jack and Meg playing the part of 2 old 'Rag & Bone' peddlers and "Little Cream Soda" is fierce enough to rip your head off. But what elevates this album into special territory are the two closing tracks. "Catch Hell Blues" is exactly what it sounds like and "Effect & Cause" is a delicious slice of stomping delta blues. Sometimes it is hard to write effectively about a White Stripes album. Lyrically they are never complex. These are mainly songs about love, love lost and memories of school and childhood. These aren't John Darnielle or Will Sheff lyrics. But I think you don't analyse a White Stripes album. You feel it, revel in it, let it sink into your bones. Call it Rock, call it Blues, call it Garage Rock Delta Blues. Doesn't matter. It is raw, human and just plain good.

MP3: Effect & Cause

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