Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The White Stripes: Icky Thump [Warner Bros., 2007]
Jumping from defunct quasi-indie V2 to ailing quasi-major Warner Bros., Jack White pretends his neoplasticism (spare industrial angularity theorized as aesthetic mysticism) is constructivism (brawny industrial angularity theorized as people's practicality). The broad strokes and hot mix are a formalist's populist gesture and a fist shaken at downward market trends. But formalism fans shouldn't let that stop them; immigration fans either. Playing at world, at heavy, at soul, he arts it up plenty and protests a little. A-