The White Stripes
The White Stripes’ usual approach to album construction is to gather influences from every planet, spread on some lovely weirdness, cram it all together tight enough to explode, and stop just short of incongruity with a sublime mash of raw excess and meticulous restraint. Icky Thump comes off more like just plain pretty good rock. It’s plenty energetic, but Jack and Meg set the bar for the resurrection of grungy perfection so stratospherically high with their last few albums, this doesn’t compare. I still credit the White Stripes for making me care about rock ’n’ roll again a decade after I’d sworn it off, but I’m going to go listen to Elephant for the 600th time before I give Icky Thump another spin.