Jack White – Blunderbuss

Jack White is one of the most talented and well-known musicians of the last fifteen years however up until now, he had never even released a solo album. Over the past decades, Jack White’s worked with the likes of Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Alicia Keys and, of course, his now ex-wife Meg White. His previous work – and let’s be frank, brilliance – that was the White Stripes sets a high standard for this album to compare to but it doesn’t fail to impress.

In Blunderbuss, Jack White abandons his familiar guitar for keys in an interesting twist. This album doesn’t have the same sort of bluesy rock feel that previous ones have had but a number of these quirky tracks seem to be rock and roll or country-inspired. The first release off the album, “Love Interruption” is brilliantly simple. In this track, he pairs up with Ruby Amanfu for vocals. With a combination of  basic guitar chords and harmonies as well as seemingly eerie lyrics about love and the power it has, this track is more about the emotional value, as is the rest of the album.

Jack White doesn’t completely abandon his musical origins though: the song “Sixteen Saltines” sounds like it could be taken from any White Stripes album. His raw talent and rock inspirations shine through in this track, Unlike most of the songs, this one has a heavy guitar riff, simple percussion and an infectious melody. But then again, this contrasts with most of the piano or acoustic guitar filled songs in the latter part of the album.

“Blunderbuss”, the title track from the album, takes the album back to the original simplicity and even introduces violins, something that would be really cheesy for most musicians that Jack White seems to pull off, creating a country vibe.

Overall, the album has a strange progression, weaving between genres and themes the whole way through on an intriguing path of sound. There are plenty of mellow songs making this album seem like breakup soundtrack but then he pulls out the strong blues tracks, heavy bass lines, and contagious riffs. Don’t go into this album expecting it to sound like something by the White Stripes, The Raconteurs or the Dead Weather because you could be disappointed. This album is a good as his previous ones with past bands but it’s completely different.
 
by Kellie Macnaughtan

April 28th 2012
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