After years of jumping between The White Stripes as lead vocalist and guitar, to The Raconteurs as backup/lead vocalist and lead/rhythm guitar and The Dead Weather as a drummer, Jack White finally decided it was time to “paint his own canvas”–and paint it he did.
The only thing Blunderbuss seems to inherit from White’s previous projects would be his raw and sloppy guitar work and that insatiably twangy vocal vibrato.
The entire album is a complete reflection of White as a person: utterly eccentric, which is really the only theme the album seems to follow. This is not a bad thing–the sounds White produces show exactly his musical perception.
Each song has it’s own unique aspect, whether it is derived from the different instrument uses, ranging from fiddle to bass clarinet, or the brilliant lyrical poetry that avoids a verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure.
The great thing about the album is how much better each track is than the initial singles, which include Sixteen Saltines, probably the most reminiscent of The White Stripes–completely raw vocals and guitar work (the only thing missing is Meg White’s primal approach to drums); and Love Interruption, soulful and filled with gospel vocal backup.
The most impressive track is Weep Themselves To Sleep. Opening with a piano and guitar battle for dominance, the piano ends up the most powerful instrument–aside from White’s vocals and the controlled drumbeats. Nearing the end of the track, White’s guitar solo tears through, as though fighting for freedom. The structure is a unique take on music.
The album as a whole is strong, and definitely a bold move on White’s part. His album is not only fun, but complex and unique. Everything about the album is his incorporation of underrated instruments, and his ability to completely change the pace and vibe. Music enthusiasts, dancers, Jack White lovers, musicians and anyone looking for a good listen will no doubt find something to enjoy about Blunderbuss.