Monday, April 30, 2012

Blunderbuss

I downloaded the new Jack White album, Blunderbuss, the other day, and after a few listens, I'm a pretty big fan.  I'm not sure that White does anything on this album that will come as a big surprise to people who've been fans of his work with The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, or The Dead Weather, but if Blunderbuss is just a good, solid example of White's typical craftsmanship, then that, in itself, is a strong testament to his songwriting skills and his status as the current guardian/protector of America's rock music legacy.
Blunderbuss probably won't appeal to everyone.  It's an unapologetic rock album.  It's the kind of music that instantly makes fans want to turn up the volume and engage in random acts of recklessness and bravado.  Even the album's quieter tunes have a powerful undercurrent- an intense energy that'll leave you nodding or tapping your feet in spite of yourself. 
The album is heavy on guitars and possesses varying moments of conspicuously talented musicianship (not the least of which involve White's vocals), but more important, underneath the howls and whines and screeching and buzzing are incredibly solid melodies that stick in your head and leave you whistling or humming for days after you've heard the songs.
It's good to see Jack White finally just take the step of releasing an album under his own name.  He's been doing the lion's share of the heavy lifting in many of his other bands for years now (especially when it comes to writing).  It's good to see him finally just take ownership of the fact that his music is going to stand or fall under his own power.  I expect to see a fair amount of collaboration from him going into the future (I think he's too energetic and prolific to ever settle into a career that leaves him as siimply a solo artist), but it's nice to see a good, clean example of the kind of thing that White can accomplish on his own. 
As if we had any doubt.  

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