June 20, 2007


'Thump' it up: On their infectious new disc, the White Stripes make merry in the musical junkyard (Joan Anderman, June 17, 2007, Boston Globe)

For somebody who micromanages his band's image down to the color scheme, Jack White comes off as one of the least packaged rock stars of his generation. Maybe you don't even think of him as a rock star. In many ways the singer, songwriter, and guitarist smacks of a pasty scholar or an eccentric mastermind. White doesn't exude much sex appeal. He isn't behaving badly, nor has he set out to save the world. The man seems genuinely immune to the demands of the marketplace, the cultivation of a fan base, and the rule that says artists are as worthy as their last new idea.

At 31, White is content to simply go about the business of channeling his blues obsession into artful, minimalist rock songs to play with his ex-wife, Meg White, the drummer in their band, the White Stripes. The duo's sixth album, "Icky Thump," comes out on Tuesday, and it's fantastic. Of course the previous five were pretty great, too. But something's different, and it's not just that the band has kissed goodbye the far-flung doodling of 2005's "Get Behind Me Satan." One imagines that Jack's yearlong excursion with pop-flavored side project the Raconteurs, his move from Detroit to Nashville, and the drama of starting a family (with model Karen Elson) have combined to inspire fresh zeal -- and the biggest, nerviest, best-natured record the White Stripes have made.

The AT&T Blueroom is webcasting a White Stripes show this week (June 20, 2007, 8pm PST) and you can listen to an older show at NPR or cop some MP3s at the Hype Machine.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 20, 2007 11:00 PM
Comments for this post are closed.