White Stripes - Icky Thump 2LP


Pickup available at Appleton Store

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While revealing the band's roots in American folk music, the White Stripes' final album Icky Thump (2007) is an explosive, revolutionary assault that brings together garage rock, every blues style of the past 100 years, nouveau, flamenco, Jack White's fastest guitar solo ever recorded, hard country, speed metal, a slide-guitar epic, surf music, spoken word and even bagpipes. Truly a modern rock and roll masterpiece, the eclectic feel of 2005's Get Behind Me Satan remains, but is less obvious; interestingly, out of all the band's previous work, Icky Thump's brash and confessional songs most closely resemble the group's underground effort De Stijl.

The acoustic blues and carefully crafted wordplay of "300 MPH Torrential Outpour Blues" harken back to "Sister, Do You Know My Name." Meanwhile, "Rag & Bone" is a cute, ragamuffin cousin of "Let's Build a Home" and casts Jack and Meg as enterprising garbage-pickers; the sly grin in Jack's voice is palpable. And, while Get Behind Me Satan was heavy on pianos, Icky Thump is just plain heavy, dominated by primal, stomping rock that feels like it's been caged for a very long time. Jack's guitars are back in a big way here as well.

Once again, the White Stripes defied expectations, and their return to rock wasn't necessarily a return to the kind of rock they mastered on Elephant.