I have probably always enjoyed the idea of The White Stripes a little more than I have ever enjoyed listening to them; a dirty, raw, under produced, blues sound with big riffs is about all you can want from a band but for this listener they never completely delivered. They have always managed to write some fantastic tunes but tend to lose me over the course of an album, sometimes falling prone to a little style without substance - not with this album.
As the White Stripes tend to mine similar terriotory you may feel that you've heard it all before on first playing 'Icky Thump' but that second listen is key. All the heavy riffery is there as before but there are also some peculiar sounding passages to songs as well that make the album that bit more diverse and re-playable. There is also a 'cleaner' sound to the record, compared to an album like 'Elephant', which depending on your tastes may be a good or bad thing but it definately works with the songs on here.
The White Stripes always make good albums but in 'Icky Thump' I honestly believe they may have made their best.