“Icky Thump”

The duo from Detroit, The White Stripes, is back with their sixth studio album “Icky Thumb,” marking Jack White’s return after working on his side project, The Raconteurs. After a disappointing “Get Behind Me Satan” this album marks the return to their roots of sorts, mixing in classic blues with experimental music to fill the album with the irresistible White Stripes.

The first track and single, “Icky Thump” is a very odd, even creepy song with Jack White’s raps on top of Meg White’s pounding drumming. “You Don’t Know What Love Is (You Just Do What You’re Told)” sounds like a classic rock anthem with blaring guitar riffs and a catchy hook. “300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues,” goes back to their country roots with a sound that could capture the moments of surveying landscapes, until the tune goes in hysterics with screeching guitars that only the WS can deliver. “Conquest” is a song unlike any other work they’ve done, even bringing horns into the equation and sounds like a theme from an old spy flick. “Bone Broke,” has an intense, dense sound as Jack’s screeching mixes with the dirty south sound. “Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn,” sounds like a track sung during Oktoberfest events on acid that even throws in a bagpipe solo then gets even weirder when it transitions into “St. Andrew/ This Battle Is In The Air.” “Little Cream Soda,” sounds like a song from their third album, “White Blood Cells.” “Rag and Bone,” is a fun track that sounds like it was ripped straight from the 50s blues scene. “A Martyr For My Love For You,” is haunting, showcasing their lyrical ability. “Catch Hell Blues,” just plain rocks and “Effect and Cause” ends the album with the lo-fi sound that initially caught the world’s attention.

“Icky Thumb” is full of surprises, with every type of blues under the sun being mixed into this modern rock masterpiece. It’s the White Stripes at their very best, but it may take a couple of listens to capture that frame of mind.

Grade: A+ Album: The White Stripes – “Icky Thump”