Icky Thump

Raw and raucous rock for adventurous teens.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The band's tendency to be musically unique makes it clear that they're comfortable being themselves and don't conform to what others expect.

Not applicable

One metaphorical reference to pimp and prostitute and one subtle reference to orgasms ("I even love it when you're faking it").

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One reference to "sittin' drunk on a wagon to Mexico" in title track.

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.

Parents say

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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.

Families can talk 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?

Music details

Artist:The White Stripes
Release date:June 7, 2007
Label:Warner Brothers
Genre:Alternative Rock
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 17 years old Written byyayap April 9, 2008
age 0+

I love the White Stripes!

If you love The White Stripes then this is perfect...
Kid, 12 years old January 25, 2015
age 10+

i love the white stripes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 15 years old Written byDogMediaLover June 21, 2014
age 11+

The White Stripes end with a bang!

On the dynamic duo's last album, they pull all their tricks- the rambling Dylan-inspired poetry, the explosive guitar riffs, and the use of foreign instruments to add complexity. They also use new tricks, such as political statements, middle-eastern jams, and abstract monologues read by the band's heart and soul; Meg White. It's their best work, save Elephant, and an album everyone should own, meeting stripped down blues with experimental rock. Now for my age review. Positive Messages: It comments on how America has shunned immigrants and on the values of true love. It also sticks up for the minority, shining light on yet another important situation. Positive Role Models: Not bogged down by trying to sell music (mass-appeal pop), and boasting low-production rates, it is really just about the music, showing that even if you're not rich you can start a band. Jack White's beliefs also shine through without openly trying to convert anyone. Violence: Though his delivery packs a punch, the lyrics themselves aren't openly violent. There's a mention to someone being dead, but it's far from graphic. Sex: Unlike Common Sense noted, there is no subtle reference to orgasms; the lyric they showed is meant to be about faking your personality. There is a not so subtle reference to "being the pimp and the prostitute too", as well as a reference to a woman's period. "I got a woman who says come and watch me bleed". Other than that just love not sex. Language: Damn is used twice, hell is used four times. No f-bombs or s-bombs though. Consumerism: If anything Jack White is against consumerism and the system, so I give it negative marks. Substance Consumption: Just waking up drunk on a wagon to Mexico.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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