Jack White
Blunderbuss


4.0
excellent

Review

by derho USER (31 Reviews)
December 9th, 2012 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist


Rock & Roll revivalist, guitar god, hipster idol, semi-pop star…however you frame it, Jack White has been one the defining figures of the past decade in music, probably because he just seems to get along with everyone. His music is tough but infectious. His cool is unattainable, but he never wants to leave anyone out. Though he’s been involved in three prominent bands (one more prominent than others), taken part in several collaborations, and produced dozens of records, everything Jack White touches feels like Jack White. He seems a veritable popcorn machine of musical ideas and ingenuity.

This all sounds great, but it really leaves our hero in a tough spot when it comes to pursuing a solo career. After all, to most people, the White Stripes might as well be called the Jack White Project. With his first foray into the world of the singer-songwriter, White has, against all odds, managed not only to create something fresh but to produce some of his best work yet. “Blunderbuss” is a ballet of geometric toy-piano figures, sometimes-manic rhythms, and strikingly simple melodies that fails to leave us wanting.

From the grey-scale self-portrait album cover to the sweet acoustics of the title track, this is a record more personal than anything he’s ever put out. No matter how well we think we know him, there are more than a few things left to learn. Imagery of exhaustion and sleep are scattered here and there, and softer spots seem to hint at White’s increased understanding that slowing down is important for reasons beyond toying with his audience’s emotions. That’s not to say he’s forgotten how to tear it up. “Sixteen Saltines” hits you like a baseball bat gone projectile and barely gives you enough time to take a breath between monstrous power-chord slashes. Songs like “Hypocritical Kiss” show he’s still got some of that trademark spite.

The bare-bones garage pop aesthetic remains, but moments here cross the threshold into epic. Has Jack White been appreciating old school prog-rock? Glistening keys on tracks like “Weep Themselves to Sleep” seem to blast through the imaginary walls of the chambers that bind them and emanate on to forever. The album closer “Take Me With You When You Go” feels like Zeppelin stripped of glam (this is a complement). Arrangements are sharp, almost pointillist, stressing the importance of the cool, empty space between jabbing, synchronous notes. Should I mention that the guitar work is unsurprisingly stellar?

Be warned: this is a slow grower, but give it time and you may start to feel that the White Stripes were just a very entertaining stepping stone. The Grammy Awards may be sickeningly narrow in their field of vision, but if Jack White walks away a winner this year, I can’t say I’ll be unsatisfied.

8/10



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3.8
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Comments:Add a Comment 
TheCount
December 9th 2012


36 Comments


I think you mean "...and strikingly simple melodies that fails to leave us wanting." Otherwise, great review. I listened to this once back when it first came out and I can't say it really latched on.

derho
December 9th 2012


307 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks man! Not sure why I went with an o instead of an a hahah.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2012


7321 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

SHE'S GOT FREEEEDOM IN THE TWENNY FIRST CENTUREH!!

*riffs*

Funeralopolis
December 9th 2012


11895 Comments


Still haven't gotten around to listening this although I feel I would probably enjoy it.

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Funeralopolis
December 9th 2012


11895 Comments


omg this rules, right up my alley.

demigod!
December 9th 2012


45271 Comments


heard it a couple times, it was decent. should give it another shot

Digging: Black Sabbath - Master of Reality

derho
December 9th 2012


307 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I thought it was a sure 3.0 my first run through but then it invaded my brain

newjunkaesthetic93
December 9th 2012


1871 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love this album, the last five tracks kinda drag on though.

klap
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2012


10597 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice review

Digging: Charli XCX - Sucker

Vespiion
December 9th 2012


1222 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. I've yet to hear this. I may invest in that this afternoon.

BigPleb
December 10th 2012


38149 Comments


Never really checked this dude or the White Stripes for that matter.

Digging: Arc Iris - Arc Iris

omnipanzer
December 10th 2012


21661 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Only one gripe:
"he just seems to get along with everyone."
Except he's known for being a short tempered hot head willing to throw down at the drop of a hat.

Other than that POS, I like this album a lot as well.

derho
December 10th 2012


307 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I sort of meant more in a musical sense but yeah I know what you mean. I guess I would have read it that way too. Thanks!



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