Monday, September 24, 2012

Album Review: "Blunderbuss" by Jack White

From time to time I am surprised by what I end up purchasing. "Blunderbuss" would definitely fall into that category. With the death of commercial radio, or would it be un-death as the continue to play the same things over and over and refusing to let them die, I am not exposed to new music anymore.

Because of this, I had never really heard anything by the White Stripes. I knew the song "Seven Nation Army," but that was about it.

I did kind of dig that song though. My big issue is that during my time of hating all things new, I had judged the White Stripes without ever having heard them.

Even now, I still haven't heard anything else by them, but I have redeemed myself somewhat by purchasing Jack White's new solo record, at least I feel that I have. Because of a complete lack of familiarity with the White Stripes and Jack White, I really had no idea what to expect when I put this album into the CD player.

Jack White
I think I listened to this album about four times all the way through before I could even tell if I enjoyed it at all. From the moment I heard the opening chords of the first song, to the reverb drenched, high gain notes of the second song, and then to the odd sounding acoustic track, I knew this album was something very different from what I was used to, but I was not sure if I even liked it a little bit.

Each track is different from the one preceding it. The only real common theme between the songs is Jack White's voice. It is very unique and I'm going to say now that he really cannot sing in any appreciable way. At least not in any way where we could call it singing. I suppose he is a rock vocalist and a very singular one at that.

I found the timbre of voice to be quite off putting at first. I could not get past his upper range tenor voice at all. On this album, he is very near falsetto territory, but he never drops it and it never cracks. As I continued to listen to it, I found that there was something that was quite special in this record. Beyond the fact that I cannot say I have heard anyone that sounds like this man and beyond the fact that none of the tracks had a sameness to them, there was something else.

Upon closer inspection, I found that Jack's lyrics are witty and full of images that I cannot quite comprehend. (I ate sixteen saltine crackers and then I licked my finger.") Even though I did not have the strongest feelings in the world about this album the first few times I heard it, in time it grew on me and I love this very strange piece of music.

Genre: Modern Rock
Year: 2012
Run Time: 41:52

1) Missing Pieces
2) Sixteen Saltines
3) Freedom At 21
4) Love Interruption
5) Blunderbuss
6) Hypocritical Kiss
7) Weep Themselves To Sleep
8) I'm Shakin
9) Trash Tongue Talker
10) Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy
11) I Guess I Should Go To Sleep
12) On and On and On
13) Take Me With You When You Go


  1. nice read. He/they always put on a great live show.

  2. I feel like I know just what you mean. At first listen I didn't like much of his stuff at all, but he shreds on the guitar, and I love the fact his songs are so different from each other. Even on his latest release, the first time I heard the title track, which was live on Late Night w/Fallon, my first thought was, "that was really noisy!" But listening to it a few times from the CD was enough to hook me on the whole album.