The White Stripes

Album: Icky Thump

Label: Warner

Release Date: June 19

**** (out of 5)


With his absurdly flamboyant dress, his thundering guitar riffs, and bluesy vocals, Jack White comes across as the kind of guy who knows he’s currently cornered the market on cool.

It is this stylish self-awareness that permeates the Stripes’ new album. Every track drips with the kind of over-the-top rock pomposity seldom seen since the ‘70s.

The bravado serves Jack and drummer Meg well. Icky Thump is a blazing rock album that surpasses their previous release, Get Behind Me Satan, in both decibel and swagger. Though there are moments when the duo’s musical experimentation seems a little theatrical, the album never stops being fun. It’s this classic mix of bombast and power cords that raises Icky Thump from rock, to RAWK!

Bon Jovi

Album: Lost Highway

Label: Island/Universal

Release Date: June 19

** 1/2

It seems like bon jovi want to take their audience on a road trip of sorts, with this Nashville-inspired album aptly-titled Lost Highway.

The simple down-home themes of love and life are well-suited to the southern comfort that the fiddle and steel guitar accents provide to Highway’s rhythms. But even with the New Country feel — including a duet with Leann Rimes — the Jovi faithful shouldn’t be too concerned. Be it Jon’s drama-drenched rasping through ballads like (You Want To) Make A Memory, or Richie Sambora punching up the party-anthem We Got It Goin’ On with his talk-box ‘wow-wow’, the Jersey vibe rings true. Ultimately, it’s a competent country-rock take on the Jovi formula — one that will surely be the summer soundtrack for those still livin’ on a prayer.

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