I once told this girl in a bar that I was saving the White Stripes’ final album, 2007’s Icky Thump, to listen to at some point in the future just so I could have the pleasure of listening to a new White Stripes album when there were no new ones. This was a bunch of years ago, it was true, and she said she was impressed with my self-control.
Late last year I found myself in the driver’s seat in Texas late at night with a long way to go. By then I had bought the album and kept a copy stored up in the cloud, always available but never played and just kind of hanging out. I had avoided even merely reading reviews for almost a decade, but these unfamiliar roads kinda seemed like the right time, and this night the right place to pull Icky Thump down from the sky and out through the rental car speakers.
You know, I’ve got this playlist for songs that are not necessarily great, but when I first heard them made me go “whoa—what world did this thing come from?” (The playlist is actually, literally, titled “What world…?”) Rammstein, Gorillaz, Eminem, Black Flag, Mindless Self Indulgence, and a few others, have a track apiece on the playlist. None of the songs have that effect on me anymore, but every track was once mind-melting stuff.
Would adding an entire album be violating the spirit of the playlist?