Friday, May 4, 2012


It was only a matter of time (after dissolving The White Stripes) before Jack White would come out with a solo album. I went into Blunderbuss not expecting it to sound anything remotely like the Stripes, and I enjoyed the hell out of it. The only song that could fit nicely on say, Get Behind Me Satan, is Sixteen Saltines; Jack has the talent for blasting out simple, hair-raising riffs. This album is filled with many brilliant eclectic touches, and the tunes are short and attention-grabbing enough to demand repeated listening. As much as there's guitar distortion, this is also a piano-driven album, with some nice honky tonk. Freedom At 21 is one of my favorites; tasty in a weird kinda way, as Jack brings out his falsetto while singing rap-style. And given that this was recorded in Nashville with session musicians, there are lotta country, folk & bluegrass flavors to the songs too (pedal steel, mandolin, fiddle) to which Jack is no stranger to. He may not have the most attractive of voices, but I think his singing style is suited for the genre. His abilities as a songwriter should also be recognized; this is his best effort, for the first time I actually can relate to his lyrics, especially Love Interruption. The more I listen to the record, the more I realize how the underlying groove is strikingly similar to that of U2's Achtung Baby, where the drums and bass are really locked in, and that's a good thing. And for a modern rock album, it is mastered really well; overall dynamic range is just right. Finally, the genius eclecticism of Jack White can be found in the closing Take Me With You When You Go, which I actually thought initially was gonna be a Jayhawks cover. Just listen to it and be wowed. After watching the Webster Hall webcast live last week, I really need to see this man live. Heads up for those in the UK -- he's playing London on the 21st and 22nd of next month, which unfortunately clashes with my two Springsteen gigs.