Jack White: Blunderbuss

Jack White = Brilliant. Period.

This is White’s debut album as a solo artist and I gotta say it’s an excellent piece of work. Ever since the White Stripes, Jack has kinda hidden in a few other bands like The Dead Weather where the songwriting was more of a collaborative process. This is all Jack White and it’s Jack White at his finest. It’s the best thing he’s ever put his name on since The White Stripe’s 2003 release of Elephant. It’s probably his most expansive album since as well. His lyrical prowess continues to dominate the record and the musicianship and songwriting abilities of this man are nothing short of unbelievable. He really knows how to cut a person down yet build you back up again wanting more by the end of the record.

Every track is a stand out track. “Love Interruption” is the big single, but songs like “Sixteen Saltines”, “Blunderbuss” and a brilliant cover of the R&B staple “I’m Shakin” by Little Willy John. There’s a lot going on this record and it’s very dynamic and covers a lot of genres. There’s elements of country, funk, R&B, folk, alternative, and even punk. There’s also a wide array of instruments supporting this including a mandolin, steel pedal, fiddle, and much more.

That’s another thing worth talking about – his backup band or the Nashville Cats. Even though this is “Jack White” it’s not a “Jack White and friends” type of record. Everybody in the rest of the band contribute immensely to the overall sound and if you didn’t have these guys, the album would have no weight to it. There’s a lot going on and the band provide the best possible backdrop for everything that Jack White is preaching.

Overall, this record is exactly how Jack wanted it and as a fan, it’s exactly what we want. It gets stranger, yet much more fascinating as the album progresses and doesn’t hold back at all. If you like anything White has done in the past, you’ll absolutely love this. He’s not the type of person to hang around a particular musical niche for a long time, so everything is new and exciting and he never fails to be brilliant.

You can definitely expect to see this album in my Top 20 for 2012.

Luke Helker


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