I know this is a little dated but let me explain.
I just went through the list of albums that I wanted to review and I’ve missed a whole bunch. In part due to me restarting this blog in June but also due to me being lazy. So I’m gonna get cracking here and start on some classic albums as well as some great one’s from earlier in the year that I missed.
First up, Jacky Jack Jack White.
When he ditched the White Stripes in 2011, it was a bizarre day for me. This is for two reasons. I was, first of all, ecstatic because I found out I was off to see the Wombats at Groovin’ the Moo that year. It was devastating because within five minutes of finding out this news about one of my new favourite bands, I’d lost a band that I’d held dear to my heart for years.
I was lost.
Then Blunderbuss was announced.
I was found.
And now, I’m very happy.
The record we were presented with is gothic, radically sonic and everything that we love about Jack White, all rolled into one. In some parts, listening to it transports you to a steam-punk world, set in the twenties or thirties.
Blunderbuss, was, unsurprisingly dropped on Jack White’s own label, Third Man Records, early in the year, and it is a treat. Album opener, “Missing Pieces” serves as a perfect introduction to the record, the keyboard trill slowly builds and synchronises into the entire band playing the same line. It’s almost metaphoric for the way he composed the entire album, beginning to end, Blunderbuss is an amalgamation of everything that Jack White has done in his various projects all wrapped up into one big beautiful package.
Moving straight into “Sixteen Saltines” we see Jack move back to the barebones White Stripes style he was loved for. Lyrically, the record resonates with White’s previous work, combining elements of story telling with wider, overarching themes. “Freedom at 21” does similar things for White, displaying a track is reminiscent of “Seven Nation Army” and “Steady as She Goes” in a blender, garnished with…well..the classic Jack White flare.
Softer moments on the record, such as “Love Interruption” are accentuated by addition of harmonies from Jack’s female backing band the Peacocks. That being said, the male band Los Buzzardos provide their own charm.
As an album, Blunderbuss does an excellent job of showcasing not only White’s versatility, but his virtuosity across a range of instruments.
There’s no doubt, in my mind at least, that Jack White is the greatest contemporary guitarist, however Blunderbuss endorses the title of multi-instrumentalist to the utmost. “I Guess I Should Go To Sleep” showcases Jack as a pianist of great talent whilst the arrangement of tracks like “Blunderbuss” and “ Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy” display his talent for song writing.
There are no dud tracks on the record, AT ALL. And live is where the songs really do shine. This album isn’t a White Stripes record so if you come into it looking for that, prepare to be disappointed. Instead, we’ve been presented yet another reason as to why we should bow down to Jack White, hero of contemporary music.