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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bit of everything
This new album is quite spectacular. It has in some ways gone back to the root of The White Stripes were all about, a guitar, drums and vocals. In other ways this album has pushed further the boundaries of the little box Jack White confines himself to; they have ditched the Marimba, taken on some bagpipes, some horns and added a synthesiser that sounds like it belongs in...
Published on 5 Aug 2007 by Greg

versus
16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The modern cd mastering process ruins another album.
after listening to the cd just once i feel compelled to write a rant somewhere. this is good new album, but i just cant get past the awful sound quality.

this overcompressing of the music on modern cds is beginning to annoy the hell out of me. im fed up of buying new cds and having to hear digital distortion which im damn sure the artist never intended to be...
Published on 18 Jun 2007 by Cashbox


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars that white stripes sound..., 18 Jun 2007
By 
G. R. Phillips "lone gallant" (Dark hole, Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Icky Thump (Audio CD)
im not a big fan of the white stripes, not to say i dont like them but ive never felt compelled to buy an album...untill this. on this album the influences really shine through, particuly led zeppelin and bob dylan. if you are a white stripes purist you probably wont like this album, but if you want a good garage rock album thats loud and distorted this is a good choice. there is a bit of a dip in quality in the middle, but the fantasticness of the rest will more than make up for that.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Stripes are back, 4 Aug 2007
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This review is from: Icky Thump (Audio CD)
What can I say? Amazing album! Incredible lyrics, amazing white stripes blues twist we have come to love. It has everything.

This album is for the true fans. Those who love the first 3 albums will love this. And in my eyes they are back to there best. It's not as commercial, far from it. But that's not always a bad thing. And those people who have given it one star and such have no idea about music and the band. The first track is a little crazy and makes a lot of noise. But it's just a, "Hi I'm meg and I'm jack, lets get rockin" track. It wakes you up and take notice of what's about to come.

A Martyr For My Love For You is one of the most beautiful tracks ever made. Amazing song. Then you have songs like Effect And Cause that have more truth in the one song that 20 years of the charts.

This album is jack at his best, his writing skills have gone from amazing to a whole new ball park. Simply incredible. Meg and jack are clearly having a ball making this cd and everyone who appreciates music who listens Will also. Every time you listen it just gets better and better. I still have yet to take it out of my car. 5/5 don't say enough. Check it out!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Stripes' Album Yet, 20 Jun 2007
By 
John Grandin (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Icky Thump (Audio CD)
After hearing the single Icky Thump, I was worried what the forthcoming album was likely to sound like, my ears having dropped off in disgust at the mangey discursiveness of the comeback seven inch. But with my lobes stapled back and with Icky Thump the album now going through its seventh or eighth listen, I'd just about say that it's the best new album I've heard since Noah moonwalked out of the Ark and high fived an octopus.

Every track on the album is strong. Even the opening track does it for me (now) simply because it works so well in conjunction with the rest of the album - a bit like a weird looking carving sat astride a totem pole of wonderful lookin' critters. From 'You Don't Know What Love Is' for fans of more straight forward chorus-verse-chrous sing-a-longs, to admirers of the raucously screamin' steeliness of Jack's slide guitar on 'Catch Hell Blues' (something we've not really heard since De Stijl), this album has everything a true WS fan could ever want in a new album. Mercy me, I even enjoyed the theatrical camposity of Conquest (surely 'I Think I Smell A Rat' goes Flamenco?) which, as fun as it is, isn't even nearly as engaging as 'Rag And Bone' where Jack and Meg adopt the guises of Mssers H. Steptoe and Son demanding all the junk from our outhouses (I have a few Coldplay CDs they can have) with Jack providing a cool, almost jazzy vibe which snoops along like a West London pimp before exploding into a glorious all-growling foot tappin' riff which wouldn't sound out of place sat on their first, punkiest album to date. But for this dilitante reviewer, 'I'm Slowly Turning Into You' has to be the highlight of the album: an almost at times Baroque combination of both organ and guitar; Jack's voice - as pained as a lemon with pips squeezed out; Meg's conversational vocals and background drums a perfect gyroscope whirling round and round as Jack's freestyling drops in and out of the track as if in homage the production values behind The Beatles' Tomorrow Never Knows - possibly. I won't tell you how good Little Cream Soda or 300 MPH Catch Hell Blues are, you'll have to find out for yourselves.

There's not one song on this album that I'd rate a duffer. For all that I adored Blue Orchid, it sits atop an album that simply did not live up to the rest of the WS back catalogue. Icky Thump does. More so, it outshines every album Jack n' Meg have ever released; and with Elephant and an out-and-out rock classic already, I wait with breath baited to see where in the pantheon of musical greatness Icky Thump gets placed.

Another cup of tea, anyone?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great...not surprisingly really!, 21 Jun 2007
By 
M. Keefe "Astro" (Liverpool, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Icky Thump (Audio CD)
cant believe the way people knock white stripes records. i think they forget they produce these albums in a matter of weeks, when other artists take years to produce material half as good as this! this is a great record and yet again they are a step-a-head of the trailing pack
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 Star? Please ignore 'that' reviewer, 18 Jun 2007
By 
Mr. James A. Bugg (Essex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Icky Thump (Audio CD)
Firstly, this album is a 9/10 album, so I rounded my score to 5 stars, partly to help restore the natural average this album deserves. More memorable than Get Behind Me, Satan, more instant than the first two albums, Icky Thump sits with White Blood Cells and Elephant as the White Stripes greatest work (bettering White Blood Cells in that it doesn't drag on quite as much as the somewhat repetitive, but brilliant third album).

The title track, You Don't Know What Love is and, my personal favourite, Conquest, are great examples of Jack White's music-writing abilities. Destined to be Stripes classics, they are complimented by the quirky n' dirty, in a 'Little Acorns'-esque fashion, Rag and Bone, along with I'm Slowly Turning Into You, I'm A Martyr For My Love For You and Effect And Cause; all showing the White Stripes at their most catchy genius.

However, whilst there are no 'weak' tracks as such, as with all albums tracks such as Bone Broke and Litle Cream Soda aren't quite as memorable, yet never forgettable. When listened to on their own, they are great, but don't stand out as much as certain tracks. Contenders for these 'certain' tracks are surely the album's mid-tracks, Prickly Thorn and St. Andrew. This is not 'classic', by which I mean traditional White Stripes. Neither brilliant nor poor, yet also anything but average, they have to be listened to repeatedly to 'get', yet add to the album's variation and overall 'it'll grab you and won't let go' appeal. You WILL listen to it over and again after you hear it once, I guarantee it.

Overall, this is a fantastic record, certainly my favourite release of the year so far, and it'll be difficult to top. Despite this review being written on its day of release, it has an instant and addictive effect on the listener, with the cause (see what I did there?) being a triumphant return to the UK music scene by my, and many others', most treasured twosome.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars so innovative, 16 April 2009
This review is from: Icky Thump (Audio CD)
These dudes are so innovative, and what do you get for all their hard work and creative input? A fab album that has a realness about it, I guess from the way they recorded it. Pretty unique. Can't go wrong here, specially not with his guitar skills. Jack White, you're unusually gifted man. I salute, and listen on!Soothing Music For Stray Cats
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasing addition to the White Stripes' catalogue, 17 Feb 2008
By 
A. Sweeney "I don't care what you call me" (Brighton, East Sussex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Icky Thump (Audio CD)
This is a damned fine album. I mean, notwithstanding the fact that it's 'Ecky and not Icky Thump, added to the fact that I am slightly bored with the concept of The White Stripes and wasn't exactly excited to hear that Jack & Meg were releasing a new album in 2007, the content of this album - or at least the majority of it - has won me over. There are plenty of songs on this album that would easily fit alongside the best output of 'White Blood Cells' or 'Elephant' and hearing that they had gone back to the hard-edged, bluesy style they excel at was pleasing.

Straight away, when I heard the lyrics of the title track, especially the lines;

"White Americans, what?/Nothing better to do?/Why don't you kick yourself out?/You're an immigrant too!"

...I knew I was about to rediscover exactly what made me such a huge fan of this band five years previously. Both 'You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told)' and '300 MPH Torrential Outpour Blues' are trademark White Stripes electric blues-fuelled tracks and are extremely enjoyable.

The frenetic, mariachi band meets blues rock corker that is 'Conquest', featuring a duel between trumpets and squealing electric guitar, delivers a truly original sound and, for that, probably gets the title of best song on the album, but 'Little Cream Soda' is a track with a classic blues riff and storming, thumping, relentless beat which could be a standout on any of The White Stripes' best albums. The only lull in the album comes courtesy of 'Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn' and 'St. Andrew (The Battle Is In The Air)' a Scottish-themed pair which reek of cheesiness, like a tourist trying to replicate authenticity. 'Rag And Bone' also nearly falls into the same trap of musical tourism, but it just about has enough charm and balls to work.

This whole album isn't exactly what I'd call a return to form in the same vein as 'White Blood Cells' or 'Elephant', but - for me - it's a huge improvement on 'Get Behind Me Satan', an album I consider to be Jack & Meg's weakest. I'm now back in the position of looking forward to their next release, so I guess you can say that Icky Thump has restored my faith in The Stripes' ability and reasssured me that they haven't lost their touch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still, insanely good, 20 Jun 2007
By 
Mr. J. Milton "jambo234" (Brighton) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Icky Thump (Audio CD)
It seems that every year, Jack White has to have his name in the musical hall of fame. Perhaps subconsciously, he creates an album which can define many people's year. There's something quite extraordinary about that. After The Raconteurs came about, he had to dismiss several rumours concerning the future of his premier band, The White Stripes. But as he dismissed them, he became the catalyst in their new album, which has finally reached us at home.

And the real extraordinary thing about this album is that it tops almost everything that he's done in the last couple of years, from headlining Glastonbury to defying critics with 'Broken Boy Soldiers'.

As the previous album suffered from the repetitive use of the piano, 'Icky Thump' gives us back the guitars and love for redheads that we all missed so dearly. Not only that but you can pick up what he's learnt with The Raconteurs, something that stands out particularly in '300 M.P.H...', a track that contains all the rage that was hidden in his last project, being provoked to come out of its glowing shell in the dying minute of the song. The title track introduces the listener for a journey that edges towards insanity more and more, song by song. The guitar roots don't take care in steadying themselves, they just reach up as high as they can and send the listener into a frenzy of joy. Although not nearly as much as 'Conquest'. Perfection in hysteria, unlike any White Stripes track, that's ever previously been heard. Jack turns into a mexican ringleader, with the track never losing its consistent pace.

The outstanding thing about 'Icky Thump' is that it's not just a way in which the siblings are showing that they're still around, it's also an improvement. The hero and the heroin sound like they're truly enjoying themselves, reminiscent of how they perform on-stage. Nobody was hoping for a miracle here, but they've been blessed with something nearly as awe inspiring. Despite duller moments only growing on you to a certain extent, you can always count on the albums highlights to deliver their promise. The Hendrix-influenced 'Catch Hell Blues' can be something that the listener can rely on to provide any joy missing from their hundredth listen of the record. Mumbling words about hot water, the frontman lets his guitar take over, becoming a sexually fuelled chemical reaction in the heat of the albums presence. As a penultimate track, it's possible you wouldn't expect it to become a favourite, but it doesn't take long in doing so.

If you take the history of The White Stripes, the heroic image of Jack White, the odd fetish for Meg White, if you take all of that away, this record would sound just as impressive. The drumming of Meg isn't noticeably lacklustre, the bombastic moments of 'Rag And Bone' somehow bring a smile to your face, and it's everything a fan and even a non-fan, could have asked for, come summer.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb but not perfect, 18 Jun 2007
By 
Mr. Robert Knapp "steelchafinch" (Oxford, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Icky Thump (Audio CD)
After the reasonable but not amazing 'Get behind me Satan' this is a return to earlier style. I.e the marimbas and Piano driven tracks have been left behind and in there place we have screaming heavy blues rockers and two frankly insane bag pipe songs. All in all though a superb album with the stand out tracks being Icky Thump, Rag and Bone, Conquest ( a very weird cover but it gets into your head very quickly) and Effect and Cause.

Not the Stripes best piece of work, that is either White Blood Cells or White Stipes, its is still however a masterpiece and a contender for album of the year.
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27 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let's Put '...Satan' Behind Us..., 12 Jun 2007
By 
P. Weaver "White Stripes fanatic" (Northfield, Birmingham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Icky Thump (Audio CD)
I can say honestly that I acquired this album through illegal download, as I know full well that I wouldn't let The White Stripes release and album without rushing to the shops to buy it regardless. After what was, in my opinion, the blip in The White Stripes great catalogue that was 'Get Behind Me Satan', this is a magnificent return to form.

For me, the opening title track doesn't work musically (although I think the lyrics are great, reminiscent of 'Senor' by Dylan), and again left me apprehensive of what was to follow.

However, 'You Don't Know What Love Is' is great, and has similiarites to White's production on Loretta Lynn's 'Van Lear Rose' album.

'300 MPH...' is another great, and it's 'Californication'-esque guitar leaves you wondering whether Jack and Meg have suddenly upped and left Detroit in search of San Diego.

But for me, with it's mariachi horns and primal powerchords, Corky Robbins cover, 'Conquest' (lyrics eg. "And then a strange thing happened; the roles were reversed that day, the hunted became the huntress, the hunter became the prey") is the highlight of the album. It is where Jack and Meg's desire to search for new ways of expanding their output live in harmony with 'The Big Three Killed My Baby'-style rawness.

'Bone Broke' is another great throwaway garage rock song to add to their arsenal, in the same vein as 'Fell In Love With A Girl' or 'Black Math'.

'Prickly Thorn' and the Meg-on-vocals 'St Andrew' are the only real tracks to avoid on this album. I was anxious to hear how bagpipes would work on the album, and I right to be so. 'St Andrew' is the better of the two, a kind of spiralling psychadelic number, but again one that the album could do wihtout.

'Little Cream Soda' is another old-school Stripes song that rocks out in that bluesy style with really fun and innocent lyrics, really reminiscent of early-Stripes songs sung in that 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' style talking/singing about pinball machines and candy canes (and I'm positive that I recognise those lyrics from somewhere, a song from around 1999-2000).

'Rag and Bone', which those of you who bought this week's NME will know, is again vintage Stripes, with little snatches of conversation interwined with lyrics about Christmas trees and toilet seats.

'I'm Slowly Turning Into You' isn't anything special, although it wouldn't have been out of place on 'Elephant' or even 'White Blood Cells'. It fades into a scorching blues solo with "la la la's" over the top, although it overstays it welcome at four and a half minutes.

'A Martyr...' is another album highlight, a heartfelt tale of feeling the best thing to do for his relationship is "to leave you alone". It tells the story of a thousand breakups ("I'm beginning to like you, so you probably won't get what I'm going to do, I'm walking away from you, it porbably don't make much sense to you - but I'm trying to save you") and it's hammond organ and thundering drumbeat make it a Stripes' song we'll be talking about for a while.

'Catch Hell Blues' is quite similiar to a lot of other Stripes songs, and although a strong song, doesn't stick in the memory like it's long-lost cousin 'Ball and Biscuit' ever did.

'Effect and Cause' is great, stripped-down acoustic blues number, with some very memorable one-liners ("first you burnt my house down, then you got mad at my reaction"). You feel Jack is responding to criticism over the Coca-Cola song controversy ("I didn't rob a bank, because you made up the law, blame me for robbing Peter but you don't blame Paul", "I ain't saying I'm innocent, in fact the reverse, but if you're heading to the grave you don't blame the hearse"). It is a very suitable ending to the album, which I repeat is a return to form.

Were it not for the bagpipes and the over-production (at times), this album would be there with 'Elephant' as probably the best and most accessible White Stripes album, but everything considered, it is reconciliation for 'Get Behind Me Satan', and one of the best albums of 2007, no doubt.

Best songs:

'Conquest'

'Rag and Bone'

'A Martyr For My Love For You'

'Effect and Cause'

****
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