Blunderbuss is simply Jack White at his best. It also happens to be his first solo album where he doesn’t have The White Stripes, The Raconteurs or The Dead Weather to share the spotlight. With a debut as gratifying as Blunderbuss, White’s star is now shining brighter than ever as this recording demands attention. White stated putting off making records under his own name for a long time, but felt these songs could only be presented under his name.
Recorded just a few months after his divorce from model/musician Karen Elson, this could be seen as White’s Blood on the Tracks, with most of the lyrics revolving around one theme: love gone wrong. Musically, Blunderbuss is all over the place with many uplifting and infectious beats.
White effortlessly delves into different musical styles ranging from Garage and Prog-rock to Blues, and Country Soul; there’s even a cover of Little Willie John’s R&B classic “I’m Shaking,” complete with female backup singers that could rival The Raelettes. Ironically, ex-wife Elson sings backup on many of the lovesick songs. You know an album is good when there isn’t a single tune you want to skip. With Blunderbuss, each track is so compelling it will force the listener to revisit the entire album over and over again, and with each listen you will uncover a layer of musical/lyrical genius you didn’t hear the time before.
The rich musical diversity and love-ravaged songs are what make Blunderbuss stand out from White’s rich repertoire. If you must compare it to a previous project of his, it would be The White Stripes great Get Behind Me Satan, also a “divorce” album. It’s difficult to pick a standout song because each track is an equal opportunity contender for that title.
“Sixteen Saltines” and “Freedom 21” are straight-up Garage/Blues-Rock songs that are sure to please purist White fans, but the real gems are the tracks where the R&B piano reigns supreme: “Trash Tongue Talker,” “Hypocritical Kiss” and “Hip (Eponymous) Boy.” Lyrically, it doesn’t get any better than “Love Interruption,” with its chorus that dictates the record’s theme: “I wont let love disrupt, corrupt or interrupt me, anymore.”
Don’t be surprised if Blunderbuss sweeps every category possible at next year’s Grammys!
If Blunderbuss is an indication of what solo Jack White sounds like, we’re in for a real treat with future releases. He’s definitely one of the most important musicians of the 21st century. In many ways he’s the Clapton of modern times. Both are proficient artists, heavily influenced by the blues and have fronted various successful rock groups before becoming influential solo musicians.
Reviewer: Sarah Geledi
IRC: Bill Pulice
You can read more of Sarah Geledi by visiting her webblog at http://goodrockingtonight.wordpress.com/
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