Jack White has been a busy boy. In the midst of producing other people’s albums and even the odd film appearance he has been able to grace us with more of his musical talents. ‘Blunderbuss’ is the varied, solo album that has already caused a stir amongst critics and music lovers. The White Stripes were one of the best rock groups from 1997-2011, reviving the music scene with their punchy tunes, and front man Jack White’s highly anticipated solo album doesn’t disappoint.

The album-opener ‘Missing Pieces’ has intermittent piano solos and the familiar almost-rapping we know and love from Jack. The opening lyrics are slightly questionable and a bit daunting ‘I was in the shower so I could not tell my nose was bleeding,’ however, the song goes on to be a stunner. A dirty love song with the right intentions; romantic in a Jack White sort of way, but with the familiar knife edge of the slightly grotesque.

‘Sixteen Saltines’ is more reminiscent of The White Stripes (‘My Doorbell’), as the almost dangerously high-pitched guitar rips through the nasal tones of White. ‘Blunderbuss’ is worthy of the album’s name. It is soft and uses violins as you might expect from the Goo Goo Dolls. The introduction is deliciously bluesy and a pleasant surprise.

‘Hypocritical Kiss’ acts as the climax of the album. It swings the melodies into the 21st century as the technical side of the album is showcased; Jack’s voice rides over easy piano melodies and modest acoustic guitar. This more uplifting side of the artist supports the rest of the album. ‘Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy’ demands the listener’s attention, proving that Jack is extremely capable of making incredible music of his own accord – ‘You’ll be watching me girl, taking over the world’. White appears to be sworn of women, fitting for his current personal situation.

‘On and On and On’ and ‘Take Me With You When You Go’ wind the album down. Jack often assumes that the listener knows he can sing (properly and purely). In the latter, there is a truly great surprise in the huge change of tone, melody and lyric in the second half of the song. The guitarist in Jack takes over- the man cannot resist a bit of showing off.

Rating: 4/5

Review by Bryony Taylor


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