Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
A bit of everything
on 5 August 2007
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 an Irish jig. This leaves us with a very diverse sounding album. The title track and lead single Icky thump is just plain weird at first, but the jerkiness and blasts of synthesiser soon grow on you. Moving swiftly onwards we get a bit country with You Don't Know What Love Is, it's brilliantly catchy. 300 MPH...... doesn't sound like the name implies until the distortion pedal kicks in around the two and a half minute mark and erupts, but it settles down. Conquest uses the horns to great effect, the song is not swamped by the songs but they act rather as a motif to the fact that it is a cover of an old song, for ten seconds somewhere in the middle of this song is sounds like new rave but that's just my opinion. Bone broke next is a classic White Stripes song, guitar drums and vocals, simple yet effective. Now comes the strange part, Prickly Thorn and St. Andrew tie in with one another, the first of these is pretty much a folk song, the second a psychedelic meltdown of backwards bagpipes and drums with some eerie spoken works by Meg White. Little Cream Soda is back to the three elements of The White Stripes, but it is quite heavy. In my opinion it is the last five songs on the album that are the best, Rag & Bone is a comical spoken word piece, I'm Slowly Turning Into You is epic with the effect on the guitar here not disimilar to that on Blue Orchid. Matyr is both slow and emotional yet thumps along in the chorus driven by stabs of organ and trundling bass heavy guitar. Catch Hell Blues is The White Stripes in their barest form with this track recorded in one take. Effect and cause is an acoustic country song yet the highlight of this song has to be the lyrics.
A quick note must be made about the sound quality of the CD version, everything seems to have compression on it and so this makes the CD version sound a little muddy at times, buy the vinyl if this concerns any audiophiles out there but it isn't really too much of a problem, I think it adds a fuller sound when compared to their older albums.