Jack White — Blunderbuss

52 Albums: Week 14

Jack White -- Blunderbuss

Jack White’s first full-length solo-album, Blunderbuss, is mostly deserving of the considerable buzz it is generating.

Freed from the expectations of The White Stripes, Blunderbuss gives Jack White the leeway to further explore his particular brand of bluesy punk in.  White takes full advantage of this freedom — Blunderbuss is bursting at the seams with creativity and masterfully pulls together sounds that have only been hinted at in his previous work.  The whole thing is pulled off with a confidence and control that ties everything together into a coherent whole.

The songs on the album that work are great on a visceral level and I want to love Blunderbuss but, unfortunately, the filler on this album leaves me mostly cold.  This is, of course, a matter of personal taste — None of these songs are bad but some of them just aren’t my bag.  Nevertheless, the legitimately great songs on this album keep me coming back for more and, in a year that’s been fraught with musical disappointments, Blunderbuss is currently sitting in my top five.

In looking for a song to highlight for this review I am tempted to go with the album’s first single, “Love Interruption.”  It’s a phenomenal song and utterly original but it’s gotten a fair amount of exposure so instead I will go with the album’s closer, “Take Me with You when You Go,” a song which really captures the range of sounds White manages to blend on this album:

Shades of The Sweet or Electric Six towards the end there. (Which gives me a good idea for this week’s Album Recommendation.)

Blunderbuss deserves four stars out of five but I’m going to give it three and a half stars, based entirely on my personal tastes. I love half of the songs but the other half does nothing for me and that holds me back from enthusiastically endorsing the album as a whole.

Listen to Blunderbuss on Spotify.

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