Little Cream Soda

Not actually one of my favorite White Stripes songs, but in the interest of scientific consistency, I feel compelled to include it. Because, as you well know, every White Stripes album has a song with the word ‘little’ in the title, and this is the one from Icky Thump. This is the only one of the series I’m not particularly crazy about, but it still merits an audit. There isn’t a single White Stripes song that doesn’t have any merit, not one that makes you leap across the room in a mad scramble to hit the skip button. That’s an honorable accomplishment right there; many of the greatest artists alive can’t say the same for themselves. There are a number of songs in the Stripes’ songbook that are unimpressive or mediocre – one can’t be brilliant 100% of the time, you know – but none that make you cringe and shudder and experience proxy shame. I thought Icky Thump, their final record together, was a bit hit-or-miss. Though it had some great moments, and nothing that could be called bad, it didn’t have quite the same sense of noisy delight that their early records were so full of. I don’t know what their personal dynamics were, but it’s easy enough to guess that by that point Meg was just about done with the entire enterprise and Jack’s attention was getting stretched thin by all the other projects he was organizing. It was a sad day when they announced their split, but it was the right move to quit while they were still capable of being a great team together instead of waiting for the inevitable point of just reluctantly hammering it out for a paycheck.


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