Snap Judgment: White Stripes' 'Icky Thump'

White_lLast night, I stumbled across a leak of the new White Stripes album, Icky Thump, and I’m happy to report to those who failed to find the band’s eclectic last record, Get Behind Me Satan, as "distinctive" or "inspirational" as a lot of critics did, that Jack White (pictured, left, with drummer Meg White) has definitely gotten reacquainted with his gee-tar and is still willing and able to do balls-out rock ‘n’ roll. This record is more in the high octane spirit of Elephant and White Blood Cells than the experimental "I’m so brilliant I can succeed at whatever I try" character of the piano-driven Satan.

That isn’t to say that Icky Thump is a return to the duo’s more primitive early days (as some, though not the Stripes themselves, have said). Despite the Zeppelin-esque title track and first single, there’s also a lot more bagpipes on Thump than anything they’ve done before, and the mandolin makes a return as well. Still, White may pepper Thump with exotic sounds (some Scottish folk music, call-and-response between a guitar and a mariachi band), but there are also moments of pure rocking abandon that should sate the appetites of those who may appreciate Jack and Meg’s ability to pull off disco-inflected soul music, but really prefer it when they plug in and make their ears bleed.

Any other PopWatchers who got their hands on Icky Thump (and naturally, followed-up by immediately pre-ordering the CD for the official release on June 19) care to weigh in on what you heard? Those who haven’t heard it, what do you expect/hope for? Anyone wish Jack would just chuck the marimbas and go back to the simpler days of "Big Three Killed My Baby?"


Comments (10 total) Add your comment
  • Margot

    I’ve heard it. It’s stunning. I cannot wait to have it tangibly in my possession in every available format. Honestly, it doesn’t get much better than Little Cream Soda, Rag & Bone, 300 MPH Torrential Outpour Blues. In fact, I could just name the whole tracklist for I find every single track compelling. The Stripes continue to surprise. Six albums in and they have pulled out an instant classic. I admit I was skeptical, but 5 out of 5 stars for this one. Their sound here is huge, Jack is a beast on the guitar. It’s brave yet accessible and engaging. Really great stuff.

  • Jermaine

    Five stars. Brilliant album.

  • matt

    I have heard it, and it sounds really good. I will buy their CD when it comes out in a few weeks. The White Stripes are the best act in the music industry.
    Also, Get Behind Me Satan is a truly brilliant album.

  • Slammy

    Stop ragging Get Behind Me Satan. It’s their best record after Elephant.

  • Will

    You are correct. It IS their best album released after Elephant.

  • Mike

    Can’t wait to hear it! Jack is a tremendous talent who continues to stand up for his ideals ten years after starting the Stripes.

  • Stephanie Travitsky

    I love The White Stripes but what is with the Mary Poppins get-ups? Are they going to “Step in Time”?

  • yssys

    They are amazing…Jack is a genius, thank god that their brilliant music exists in our time…

  • Elise

    I have heard it, and I really love every single song on it. It’s simply amazing.

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