Jack White - Blunderbuss
Jack White is back to prove he is worthy of his stripes with solo album Blunderbuss. Maintaining his reputation of having the Midas Touch, this debut solo venture does nothing to ruin his practically perfect album track record, creating thirteen tracks of haunting Southern influenced grooves.
Every track is in the vein of The White Stripes had they been a full band rather than a duo. Blunderbuss is littered with gnarly guitar licks from the beginning, set against the frontman’s trademark quirky falsetto. Opener ‘Missing Pieces’ has everything White is renowned for: melancholic lyrics, a simple yet effectively crafted riff and the contrast of the quiet verse against a brawny chorus.
‘Weep Themselves to Sleep’ is a great example of the abundance of piano on the record, giving White's music a fuller, more rounded sound. He sounds like nobody but himself, continuing to exercise his keen ability to take the simplest riff on his guitar and build it into a track that you will struggle to leave alone. ‘Sixteen Saltines’ has the raw energy of White Blood Cells, like an adrenaline pumped race through TWS early back catalogue. White’s high pitched howling is fragile but at the same time colossal; he nails the vulnerable boy next door falsetto whilst still delivering blisteringly powerful choruses.
Keeping things varied is ‘Love Interruption’, a slow paced, soothing acoustic ballad whilst ‘Freedom at 21’ showcases his morbid lyricism at its most gruesome. Narrating his favourite topic of heartbreak, White describes how his lady friend will make him ‘Cut off the bottoms of my feet, make me walk on salt’. Grim, but memorable imagery.
Blunderbuss is packed to the brim with potential hit singles, yet Jack White is nowhere near selling out to the radio-friendly masses. It is his inimitability and capacity to channel his raw emotion behind a mesmeric song that makes this one of his most resilient albums. It is perhaps the feeling of nostalgia that White Stripes fans will experience that makes Blunderbuss an instant classic; fans of his previous projects will feel like they already know this record upon first listen. Ballsy, bluesy brilliance.