White Stripes - Icky Thump
Album number 6, for one of the world's most revered rock and roll bands. Since released it's been heavily noted in the media on the duration of the recording sessions, clocking in at just under 3 weeks. The longest amount of time compared to their other stints on previous albums. As the Stripes are known for their brief studio outings.
The title track was the first single to be taken from the album, it was a taste to come with a very zeppelin-esque style riff, the world were in awe and anticipation of what the Whites had on offer this time around. In all honesty though this isn't just a White Stripes record it's the next step in evolution of Jack White as musician/frontman/singer/songwriter etc.
The album relentlessly twists and turns and doesn't hesitate whatsoever to get where it's going, forgetting it's past destinations especially displayed on 2005's Get Behind Me Satan. Jack and Meg hit us with the stripped back rock sound we have come to know and love throughout their career. "Rag and Bone" and "Little Cream Soda" are clear representations of the aforementioned sound, raw, direct and effective. The latter shows an example of White at his most exciting and effective on the guitar. "Conquest" is either love hate with that kitschy feel to it though which ever side of the fence you stand on you cannot deny the appeal of the horns displayed throughout the track. There is no real balladry here only in spurts in occasional tracks, forgone with the intent on a full focused rock event."You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do What You're Told)" and "A Martyr For My Love For You" show the band at their full songwriting powers.
Icky Thumps strengths are it's weaknesses, it's a thoroughly consistent effort where each track is just about as good as the last, though no song tends to stand out more than it's peers. Some fans of course just can't get enough of White's bluesy rock sound but I'm one for pushing the boundaries of the modern rock sound. Where, Get Behind Me Satan was an intriguing affair, and the most experimental and enthusiastic set of songs the band has put to disc, I feel that Icky Thump pales in comparison with it's lack of freshness and zest, Icky may stand the test of time through it's consistency but on the back of such a terrific effort i can't help feeling at tad disappointed.