The White Stripes: “Icky Thump”
Producer: Jack White
Label: Third Man/Warner Bros.
Release Date: June 19

A decade into their career, Jack and Meg White remain at the top of their game. And on their seventh studio album as the White Stripes, no one seems more surprised by this than them—they open the record with a bemused declaration of "Who'da thunk?" on the burning, riff-heavy title track. During the ensuing 48 minutes, they amp up the guitar attack to levels not seen since 2003's "Elephant." That means plenty of electric blues-inspired rock ("Bone Broke," "Rag and Bone," "Catch Hell Blues") -- something largely absent on 2005's somber piano- and folk-dominated "Get Behind Me Satan." Jack also mixes in more humor and a batch of new playful influences, ranging from the speed metal-ish "Little Cream Soda," to mariachi horns on the cover of Patti Page's "Conquest," to the bagpipes of "Prickly Thorn, Sweetly Worn." The Stripes have never had so much fun. --Brian Garrity