CLUAS Album Reviews

The White Stripes 'Icky Thump'

Jul 23

Written by:
Monday, July 23, 2007  RssIcon

White Stripes 'Icky Thump'Review Snapshot:
The new White Stripes album shows off its blues and folk influences the way a pre-pubescent boy wears a fake moustache. An uninspired and uninspiring rock trudge that's not half as odd or interesting as it seems to think it is.

The CLUAS Verdict? 5 out of 10

Full Reviews:
In the sleevenotes to 'Icky Thump', Jack White admits to being an impressionist. Fair play to him for his honesty; this record sounds like one long Led Zeppelin homage - blues-rock guitars and little else.

White's songs are as flat and unremarkable as ever but this time around there's no 'Seven Nation Army' killer riff to carry them off. Like with Morrissey, his titles are more interesting than the songs themselves - 'You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do What Your Told)' and 'A Martyr For My Love For You' are unmemorable plod-rock.

Only the mariachi-style 'Conquest' is quirky and appealing - but that's a cover version.

The low point is 'Prickly Thorn (But Sweetly Worn)' a hilariously bad (but apparently serious) attemp at Celtic folk-rock. Also good for unintentional laughs is 'Saint Andrew (This Battle's In The Air)' - "Saint Andrew, do not forsake me", squeals Meg White with her schoolgirl-voice. Even twenty years from now, street urchins will be taunting her in public over it.

 If Jack White were to put into his songwriting at least half the imagination and energy he devotes to his imitation of a Deep South bluesman/medicine show huckster (as on the irritating 'Rag And Bone'), then The White Stripes might yet make music that lives up to the hype and mythologising they seem to inspire.

On the evidence of 'Icky Thump', however, they seem to have hit a creative dead-end.

Aidan Curran

 To buy a new or (very reasonably priced) 2nd hand copy of this album on Amazon just click here.

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12 comment(s) so far...

Re: The White Stripes 'Icky Thump'

I'm sorry but what the fuck are you people smoking.. You've reviewed almost all of me and my friends favourite albums as a 5 or lower...
What the hell are you guys thinking.. Just because you like one style of music and aren't open to anything else does not mean that it is bad music. It just isn't something you like. You should have different people that review music that THEY LIKE..
For example, if you have a person who loved jazz and didn't like much of anything else reviewing the latest rap album that topped the charts, he or she would give it a low rating..

This site is an embarrassment to music.

By Anonymous on   Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Re: The White Stripes 'Icky Thump'

he writes rock songs, he plays rock n roll..more often than not its pretty fookin good too...GET OVER YOURSELF..that is a crap review..quit writing album reviews with a thesaurus on the desk and start listening the albums for what they are..its a rock n roll album...its pretty good too.

it seems to work....i think its brilliant.....the parisian smack of obnoxiousness is rubbing off on your writing bro...

By PARTON on   Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Re: The White Stripes 'Icky Thump'

Parton, fair enough: you liked the album and I didn't. That justifies the new 'comment' format. Keep commenting!

BTW I won't admit to Parisian obnoxiousness... but I've probably caught the arrogance (or 'haughtiness', my famous thesaurus says). And I'm shrugging a lot too.

Personally, I think signing a comment as 'anonymous' is much more of an embarrassment.

By aidan on   Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Re: The White Stripes 'Icky Thump'

I guess if it's not another lame U2 record or some bald chick howling over Elf-music, the Irish Music Press doesn't like it. The guy who wrote this review is clearly a man with deep self-confidence problems, being him and his Thesaurus are so out to prove he's smart. Probably this is a reflection of the sexual dysfunction brought on by years of feeling lonely. What a knob.

By Dr. Jack Shock on   Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Re: The White Stripes 'Icky Thump'

Considering the review, I'd say 5 out of 10 is pretty generous. That's one of the things I like about the White Stripes, they can divide opinion like very few bands these days, and Mr. Curran certainly isn't the only one to think that of the album. I haven't heard it yet but I have read some bad reviews, not to mention glowing ones. If you don't agree with the review Aidan has submitted I'm sure you can submit one yourself.

Of the five or so tracks I have heard, Conquest caught my interest the most. So he might be right on the money after all.

Aidan, you do come as a bit cynical in your writing though, like revewing an album is a chore you have to get through

By Peejay on   Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Re: The White Stripes 'Icky Thump'

Peejay, thanks for the comment - I'm not intending to sound cynical, but perhaps it comes across that way with albums I don't like, when listening to them IS a chore! I've written plenty of high-rating reviews where I'm very enthusiastic about what I hear (including plenty of Irish acts: Simple Kid, Nina Hynes, Jenny Lindfors, Duke Special) and hopefully I don't sound cynical in those... and especially not for reviews of bald-chick-elf-music, my favourite type of music.

By aidan on   Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Re: The White Stripes 'Icky Thump'


NICE.. :)

By PARTON on   Thursday, July 19, 2007

Re: The White Stripes 'Icky Thump'

The Stripes either hit you or they dont. Personally, I love them and they hit me on a gut level for some reason. I have no time for the "imitation bluesman" angle as ANY white blues performer is imitating to a certain extent. Jack White's blues performer image is as legit as that of Mr.Dylan, a Minnesota Jew.

I think he's an excellent pop songwriter, they've a distinctive sound, they're great live, they've a sense of humour about themselves and they stand out a mile in the indie climate of today.

If you like them, you'll enjoy Icky Thump. If you don't, it won't convert you.

I tried not to use any long words, for those of you who hate thesaurus'.

By Norman Schwarzkopf on   Thursday, July 19, 2007

Re: The White Stripes 'Icky Thump'

This album mostly sucks. 5 out of 10 is kind.

By UnaRocks on   Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Re: The White Stripes 'Icky Thump'

Creative road block? i do not understand you. you say you are refreshed by "Conquest", THAT is the stagnate uncreative side you are talking about. Take another listen to "a martyr for my love for you" and "St. Andrew" if you would just turn off your goddam egotistic critical mind and just let the music sink into you you'll understand what the hell is going on.Yes meg's voice is annoying, but hey maybe you are just a critic that looks more like the last one that jack refers to in his song "little cream soda".

By Catholic School Boy on   Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Re: The White Stripes 'Icky Thump''re one of those "Seven Nation Army"-ers that go to concerts to hear the hit songs. Though I respect your opinion, I respectfully think you're full of crap.
This album gets a 9 to a 10 out of 10 from me (and btw, he's the only one actually saving blues-rock from extinction)
I just hope the catchy pop riffs of Brendon Benson soothe your "I think Jack can't write" attitude when Jack switchs to the Raconteurs.

By You All Everybody on   Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Re: The White Stripes 'Icky Thump'

I don't agree that album mostly sucks. I would say 'Icky Thump' has 7 out of 10

By bone cancer symptoms on   Saturday, March 14, 2009

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