Tuesday’s Buzz: Jack White’s Explosive Blunderbuss
Jack White has crafted records with three bands, making his name with The White Stripes and logging hits with The Dead Weather and The Raconteurs. In his new album, Blunderbuss, White flew solo for the first time and created one of his best records yet.
A happy accident, Blunderbussemerged from a botched recording session with RZA, whose album White had intended to produce in his Nashville, Tennessee studios. After the rapper was unable to make it to the studio, White used the gathered session musicians to help create the base material of Blunderbuss, and thus a solo album was born.
Unlike many of his previous releases, the music of Blunderbuss has more space to it, opening up the songs to a style that we have not really seen from White. The record begins with “Missing Pieces,” where White raps over his own catchy grooves from a Rhodes piano before shaking up the record with “Sixteen Saltines.” The most explosive track on the LP, “Sixteen Saltines” hits the listener with continued bursts of possessed guitar play in the album’s only hand-banger.
White rode the momentum of “Sixteen Saltines” into “Freedom at 21,” which rides a funky series of guitar chords before blending into more of a “White Stripes” groove. The record then fades into a series of tracks that feature more of a singer-effort than we have seen from White in the past with songs like “Love Interruption,” “Blunderbuss,” and the piano-dominated “Hypocritical Kiss.”
As the second half of the record comes into play, Blunderbuss begins to sound like a Nashville record with “I’m Shakin’” and “Trash Tongue Talker,” officially giving the record a touch of everything.
I have not been much of a Jack White fan, as his past releases have never really done it for me. This record, however, is absolutely outstanding. I am not sure if this trumps his previously best known record, The White Stripes’ Elephant, but it is very, very close and it will be extremely interesting to see if this is White stumbling into a new axis for his career to spin. Buy it, download it, stream it, or use however else you listen to music: this is one of the best records of the year.
Blunderbuss is available as a digital download, CD, and vinyl. The single, “Sixteen Saltines,” is available as a 12” and 7” single. “Love Interuption” is also available as a 7” single. Jack White is currently in the midst of a worldwide tour that includes stops in North American, Europe, and Japan.
Other Cool Stuff That Hits This Week: Carole King: Legendary Demos, Dandy Warhols: This Machine, Warren Haynes: Live at the Moody Theater