Think of a rifle from the Civil War or Revolutionary period; have you ever seen one of those rifles or handguns with a wide mouth? That is called a blunderbuss; these weapons were used by cavalrymen as they were easy to load and offered a spattering of bullets toward the enemy. If you keep that in mind we can hear how the first solo album by Jack White is a spattering of genres and ideas stretched into 13 tracks. See what I did back there? Take notes, Avid Reader; you may learn a thing or three if you pay attention.
You might say that everything he touches is a “solo record” and I’ll disagree that this is the first project he’s worked on where he is in total control. No input from other folks, this is a whole new backing band and he is their leader. The band is competent and somehow makes him sound better here than any other project he’s worked on. His guitar work shines all over each track, it isn’t jagged or subdued. Right there in the forefront he blazes on with those licks you’d expect him to be harboring in his bones.
Even his lyrics are a little darker than usual, but he has a way with phrasing that most folks are still trying to manage in pop music. You might think he’s being a lot more honest and straightforward with his lyrical content, and I like that about this record. This is a culmination of each project he’s worked on so far, and the backing band is the real glue for this album. I was worried that this would be a self-indulgent release and sound messy, but this is far from a mess and is quite a polished piece of work.
Do you need some proof? Check out: “Hypocritical Kiss”, “Sixteen Saltines”, “Take Me with You When You Go”,”On and On and On”, “Missing Piece” and the lone cover “I’m Shakin”. That’s not to discount the rest of tracks here or the first single “Love Interruption”, I just like those tracks the best.
If you are a fan of everything he touches, this is something you’ve had since it was leaked — and if you are someone that is on the fence about him, give this a try. It isn’t the Stripes, the Raconteurs or the Dead Weather, this is Jack White as he intended himself to sound the whole time. Trust me; you’ll have some fun with this album.