Monday, March 10, 2008
6.) Icky Thump - The White Stripes (ST. PATTY'S 2008)
Third Man Records.
SCQ Rating: 81%
Just when I swear that radio is ruled by worthless bands by wealthy labels, Jack White throws a wrench in my pessimism. In a current market where only the Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Linkin Park can really afford to rack up radio support, I’m all the more thankful for bands like the White Stripes to consistently deliver great albums that can be shared by both audiophiles and AC/DC tee-wearing DJs. Not only was ‘Icky Thump’ the most adventurous rock song of 2007, it was also the most played on radio. Call it a coincidence or concede that Jack White has had the music industry in his pocket (as performer, producer, collaborator, actor, soundtrack composer and all around bad-ass personality) for nearly a decade now.
It doesn’t hurt that the Stripes know when to drop their albums; really, what would summer be without their classic-rock dementia? My friend Patrick scooped up a copy of Icky Thump before a weekend at the cottage and nine months later, I still can’t listen to ‘Prickly Thorn, but Sweetly Worn’, without wishing I had a bocce ball in one hand and a stein of beer in the other. This record (along with The Raconteurs, Elephant and White Blood Cells) feels designed for humid weekends away with close friends, from the front-porch loitering of ‘300 MPH Torrential Outpour Blues’ to ‘Rag And Bone’s hilarious bonfire stomp.
After the beautifully bizarre Get Behind Me, Satan, Icky Thump feels like a homecoming, with both Jack and Meg sounding utterly devious and absolutely inconsolable. Wearing its Zeppelin hard-rock affinity even closer to sleeve than their long-loved blues-rock, this is the White Stripe’s loudest and imaginative record yet.