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Album Review

Jack White leaves such an indelible stamp on any project he touches that a solo album from him almost seems unnecessary: nobody has ever told him what to do. He's a rock & roll auteur, bending other artists to fit his will, leading bands even when he's purportedly no more than a drummer, always enjoying dictating the fashion by placing restrictions on himself. And so it is on Blunderbuss, his first official solo album, arriving five years after the White Stripes' last but seeming much sooner given White's constant flurry of activity with the Raconteurs, Dead Weather, Third Man Records, and countless productions. Here, he's once again placed restrictions on himself but they're not quite as clearly defined as they've been in the past, as when he's gotten great dividends by working with a limited palette. All the restrictions are entirely of a comforting variety: he's abandoned the primitivism of the White Stripes, something that came easily with Meg White bashing away on the drums, and has chosen a quieter, polished route, rotating in different musicians for different tracks. Jack still pulls out some standards from his bag of tricks — clenched blues explosions, squealing guitars, and a cool breeze of electric piano — but musicians matter and this bunch of pro players tightens and softens his attack (sometimes to its detriment, as on a clumsy cabaret version of Little Willie John's "I'm Shakin'"). When Blunderbuss gets furious, it's hard not to miss the chaos Meg brought to the Stripes — with her at the drums, "Sixteen Saltines" would fly off the rails — but it's a mistake to think of this album as a professionally produced White Stripes record as it relies as heavily on ideas White explored on his handful of old-timey acoustic cuts and the '70s guitar rock of the Raconteurs. If it resembles any Stripes album it's Get Behind Me Satan, the dark, odd 2005 set written in the wake of a breakup and filled with songs of paranoia and recrimination. This too is a divorce album with every song concerning love gone wrong, yet it's easy to ignore all the pain roiling underneath because Blunderbuss plays so sweetly, its melodies easing into memory and its surface warm and pleasant. Contradictions are nothing new for Jack White but he's never been as emotionally direct as he is here, nor has he been as musically evasive, and that dichotomy makes Blunderbuss a record that only seems richer with increased exposure.

Customer Reviews

Amazing Album That Delivers The Distilled Essence Of Jack White.

First, in order to set the record straight - I am a big Jack White fan and have listened to everything he's done ever since the first Stripes album came along back in 1999. I enjoy listening to all albums he's produced with all the bands he's been in as they are all top notch releases. However, for me, non of the post-Elephant stuff comes close to the intense genius on display and the unique atmosphere present in the first four albums of the White Stripes. Well, lo and behold, this is everything I expected this album to be and is definitely up there with Jack White's best.
A lot of it comes from the fact that, left to his own devices, without any constrictions, Jack White can do whatever he wants, and he can put on display the twisted wonderful world that's inside his head, without any hindrance from other bandmates; the musical compositions themselves are as proficient as you would expect them to be, the lyrics are mature and thoughtful, the atmosphere of the album is reminiscent, in different ways, of all of Jack's previous bands and is yet, something entirely novel. The distilled essence, then, of Jack White left on his own. Enjoy!

Jack White at his best!

Just proves that he is one of the greatest songrwiters of our generation!!

Top class

Jack white at his best, was gutted when white stripes called it a day!! But this makes up for that!! I'm shakin top class song..


Born: 09 July 1975 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most admired guitarists of the early 21st century, Jack White helped restore the popularity of punk-blues as the frontman of the White Stripes. Meanwhile, he widened his reach by participating in a range of other projects, including the Raconteurs, the Cold Mountain soundtrack, Loretta Lynn's comeback vehicle Van Lear Rose, the Dead Weather, and a solo career. Although White's nasal voice and loose, fiery guitar delivery were mainstays of the White Stripes' early work, the group branched...
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