Sunday, September 6, 2009

The White Stripes - Icky Thump

The White Stripes - Icky Thump
Published in 2007

First, I must thank Alex C. for suggesting this, it's exactly as eclectic as I expected from you. Your other request is on the list, but it's a bit further down.

You know what I'd love to do? Watch The White Stripes record an album. It must be a facinating fucking process, because I have no idea how they do it. Sometimes it seems like they have prepared these songs that have coaleced from the vapor, that are just these incredibly powerful forces of nature kind of songs, that make you sure that these guys kick ass more than anyone else. And sometimes it just sounds like they are tooling around, figuring out whatever they are playing as they are going along.

They have tons of Character though, and that is the word that would describe this album for me. This is not an album that you listen to and could think that anyone else was making it. Even other Jack White projects don't sound the same as the White Stripes do. This is an album that is permeated with the sound of the White Stripes.

One of the weird things about them is actually identifying what that sound is in particular. They used to be a rock band, or something like a rock band. But now we have mariachi horns, weird western country influences, and a lot of heavy guitars. Oh and some piano, some bagpipes, and weird other sounds. Once you think you have pinned them down, they shift up on you. They aren't just anything anymore. Once again, watching this process must be amazing.

I'm not sure if I like this album as a whole. Some of it is great, and some of it just left me cold. But I find that the good outweighs the bad. I think that for every experiment that goes off the tracks, they have two that usually hit well for me.

One thing that I will say negatively is that I miss when they were just a guitar and drums band. I have a weird enchantment with completely broken down simple bands, that cut it all the way down to two people, and I miss the driven rock of Elephant on this record (Another candidate for my first contribution is Death from Above 1979's first album, which was made with a bassist and a drummer). This sounds like a band that is growing it's sound into other areas, and I think that Jack White has trouble being confined to one sound.

What more can I say, I wasn't enchanted, but it's a solid album, that I'm glad to have added to my library, this one just didn't grab me and pull me in. There is a lot there, and a lot of good songs, but it's just not my cup of tea.

Up next, Era Vulgaris by Queens of the Stone Age
And they have a plan,


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