Friday, December 5, 2008

Icky Thump - White Stripes

Artist: White Stripes
Song: Icky Thump
Year: 2007
Album: Icky Thump

"Icky Thump" is a bit of a departure and a revival for the White Stripes. It marks a return to politically themed songs. It also features a radical movement towards a different sound, while still retaining their signature sound. This is a song of maturity for Jack and Meg White.

The song deals with the topic of immigration. In the video, Jack easily crosses the border into Mexico, only to face the same problems that Mexican immigrants face when coming into the United States. He is forced to work for essentially slave labor until he can make it back into the United States.

The addition of other instruments and other sounds is a welcome change. I think Jack's other musical ventures are finally impacting the White Stripes. That could be a wonderful thing. The changes in this song are particularly pleasant. The synthesizer snake charmer solos are an interesting add to the song.

The lyrics seem to be more stream-of-consciousness based. It makes for a different style of song that is constructed uniquely from the rest of the catalogue. Change is not always good, but Jack has found the right path to move forward.

Yah-hee, icky thump,
Who'd thunk?
Sittin' drunk on a wagon to Mexico.

Ah, well, what a chump,
Well, my head got a bump when I hit it on the radio.

Redhead señorita looking dead came and said,
"Need a bed?", en español.

I said, "Gimme drink of water,
I'm gonna sing around the colla'
And I don't need a microphone."

Icky thump with a lump in my throat,
Grabbed my coat and I was freakin',
I was ready to go.

And I swear besides the hair,
She had one white eye,
One black stare,
Lookin' up, lyin' there.

On the stand near her hand was a candy cane,
Black rum, sugar cane, dry ice, something strange.

La, la, la, la, la, la, la...
La, la, la, la, la, la, la...

White Americans what nothin better to do
Why don't ya kick yourself out, you're
an immigrant too.

Who's using who?
What should we do?
Well, you can't be a pimp and a prostitute, too.

Icky thump, handcuffed to a bunk, robbed blind,
Looked around and there was nobody else.

Left alone, I hit myself with a stone,
Went home and learned how to clean up after myself.

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