Just The Right 'Thump'
Bagpipes and trumpet work from a previously unknown Latin musician are among the new sounds to be heard on the White Stripes' "Icky Thump," due this week via Third Man/Warner Bros.Bagpipes and trumpet work from a previously unknown Latin musician are among the new sounds to be heard on the White Stripes' "Icky Thump," due this week via Third Man/Warner Bros. The album runs the gamut from arena rock to blues to a spoken-word prayer to Saint Andrew. "Conquest" is set to a hot tango rhythm, featuring a trumpeter that White discovered playing a Mexican restaurant in Nashville.
Bagpipes and a rollicking Scottish dance structure are applied to "Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn," capped by the refrain of "lai-de-lai-de-li-oh." Drummer Meg White's voice can be heard a number of songs, including her banter with Jack on the playful "Rag and Bone" and on the aforementioned spoken-word track "St. Andrew (This Battle Is in the Air)."
For his part, Jack White seems unfazed about life on a major label. "We were leery for a long time ... we'd never had the trust in us to do it," he says. "It would have been a bad idea to do that on 'White Blood Cells.' We had them all offering it then. But I think it would have been over very quickly for us. We would have been a new flavor of the week and probably would have been a one-hit wonder with 'Fell in Love With a Girl.'"
At this point in the band's career, White says those types of concerns are no longer an issue. "Everything's happening at the right time," he says. "In some ways, we look back and we're kind of like, 'Man, maybe we were stupid with this naive thing about if artistic freedom and business collide, something bad happens.'"