The White Stripes – Icky Thump

White Stripes

Well if anyone was holding out hope that the White Stripes would go back to the primal, stripped-down blues that they seemingly perfected circa White Blood Cells will be disappointed. Yes, the eclecticism that suffused their previous album Get Behind Me Satan has been toned down (Goodbye marimba solos), but The White Stripes do now appear to be Jack White’s real creative outpouring after the Raconteur’s commercial and critical success. So it’s hello again to blistering guitar solos (which were absent on the last album) and hello for the first time to bagpipes. Yes, bagpipes. Seems Jack is keen to embrace his Scottish heritage on this album. Considering most Scots would have been happy enough for him to just wear a kilt for his Scottish gigs, he’s gone all teuchter on us.

“Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn” is an ode to the thistle that’s jaunty enough, but then Meg White comes in an sings about “Saint Andrew (This Battle Is In The Air)” and it lost me. But I suppose this is the newly married, Nashville based Jack White we’re talking about here. Seemingly more at ease with himself and his music (the band even recorded in a digital studio!), so the duo feels a bit looser and a bit more confident and playful. For example, the witty banter during the thumping “Rag and Bone”. The country rock of “Effect & Cause” sounds out of place at the start, until you hear the lyrics (a thinly-disguised attack on the supposed back-biters that forced Jack and Meg out of Detroit).

It’s hard to pick out the best track on the album, because for all it’s eccentricities, Icky Thump is a strong and cohesive album. Maybe 300mph Torrential Outpour Blues is the pick of the bunch. A distant cousin of Elephant’s “Ball & Biscuit”, that starts of gentle and contemplative before erupting with a ferocious guitar line. “Catch Hell Blues” is classic White Stripes though; pounding drums and Jack’s masterful guitar playing. It’s the simplest track and again highlights the White Stripes strength in (lack) or numbers.

White Stripes – Icky Thump:



    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


    Connecting to %s

  • A Heart Full of Hornets

    Welcome to my blog. How you ended up here, heaven knows. Unless of course, I've been badgering you into visit almost every other day. I'll try and keep this updated regularly, with what I'm up to and any kind of musical recommendations which you can ignore at your leisure. If you want to get in touch with me you can e-mail aheartfullofhornets @
  • What I’ve Been Listening To

  • What is is a form of social bookmarking: basically I see something online that I find interesting, I can bookmark it and then it appears below for everyone else to investigate too.

  • Categories

%d bloggers like this: