A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there's nothing objectionable here, though the lyrics tend toward the vivid and caustic ("I can't help but wonder if after I'm gone will I still have these 300-mile-per-hour, finger-breaking, no answers makin', battered dirty hands, bee stung and busted up, empty cup torrential outpour blues"). The CD is an eclectic mix of musical styles that can be melodic, melodramatic, and manic -- sometimes all at the same time.
What's the story?
As always, The White Stripes steer clear of highly produced albums with their sixth studio album, ICKY THUMP. To an unfamiliar listener, this album may feel like an assault on the ears. But remember, this is Jack White and Meg White -- the Detroit-bred duo who shun the rules of rock and embrace their eclectic-ness. They deliver heaps of raw energy and quirky combinations of sounds. You won't find anything objectionable in the lyrics, and you'll most likely find (and feel) -- a good deal of passion for the music.
Is it any good?
Musically, Icky Thump runs the gamut, taking listeners on a stylistic trip through genre after genre, with sounds reminiscent of Led Zeppelin, Elvis Presley, old Irish ballads, and Spanish mariachis. Jack's voice is as much an instrument as his guitars; Meg rocks on the drums and brings out the occasional bagpipes and trumpet. The lyrics move from real and raw to poetic and pure, and even though there isn't always a logical narrative to follow, there's always a clever line or musical surprise just around the corner.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how original and different these songs are from what other popular bands typically produce and why it's good to step outside of the box. Try to name other artists who have pushed the musical envelope and still found fans. Families can also discuss how artists can make powerful albums without iffy content. Does it make it more powerful to skip the sexual references or harsh language? Why or why not?