The platinum-selling, multi-Grammyr- winning and highly acclaimed The White Stripes move to Warner Bros. for Icky Thump, the most sonically bombastic album the band has made. While revealing the band's roots in American folk music, Icky Thump is an explosive, revolutionary assault that brings together garage rock, every blues style of the past 100 years, nouveau flamenco, Jack White's fastest guitar solo ever recorded, hard country, speed metal, a slide guitar epic, surf music, spoken word and even bagpipes to create a modern rock 'n' roll masterpiece.
Bagpipes, a song written as the soundtrack to a Michel Gondry music video, Patti Page's musical shadow, and Jack and Meg co-narrating a scavenger's rummages: It must be time for Icky Thump, the many-flavored riposte to 2006's Get Behind Me Satan. The duo starts big with the title track--Jack's fast-tumbling, falsetto-tinged lyrics jagging on hyper keyboard-sounding segues and Meg's pounding drums. They rarely shy from an idea, invoking acoustic Bob Dylan to frame "300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues," but interjecting a series of distortion-laden guitar paroxysms for good measure. The end of Icky, on "Effect and Cause," is where Jack's trademark vocal warble and spare, quick acoustic strums meet Meg's single-minded beats. Everywhere on Icky giant riffs leap and shout, with Flamenco horns and those eerie bagpipes and rhythmic shifts and Jack's impatient vocal kinetics, marking new territories even as the White Stripes again populate them with vintage ideas. --Andrew Bartlett