Jack White: Blunderbuss Review

On Blunderbuss, Jack White kidnaps his listeners and forces them to listen to a 40-minute seminar about the way things operate on his planet. His debut solo album features rattling, full arrangements and brilliantly warm production set against a fusion of 60’s soul and garage blues rock vibes. Each track kicks and jabs one way or another, delivering heaviness that is rooted in passion and eccentricity. The result is a savagely beautiful creation that turns the blues inside out by interpreting purely human conditions as otherworldly entities that push the boundaries of harmony.

White has taken so many different avenues in order to forge a matchless persona, and the one that is omnipresent on Blunderbuss is his ability to tap into an array of influences and genres while stamping his name all over his own concepts. The first single, “Love Interruption,” is utterly Dusty Springfield reminiscent, “I’m Shakin’” is a funkified but true Little Willie John cover that fattens up the instantly recognizable hook line, and the title track is a gentle nod to Nashville’s influence with sweeping, crying pedal steel lines and rich, moving piano lines. Although each tune has its own seductive quality and payoff, the most striking track is “Weep Themselves to Sleep.” With an intro that calls to mind the more operatic samplings of The Who, “Weep Themselves to Sleep” spirals and twists into several songs within itself. A racing, jazzy piano line ties the song’s parts together. The verse then mutates into grooves featuring thumping lyrics that sound more inspired by the Beastie Boys than any guitar-based rock act. The heroic chorus eventually leads way to a classically Jack White solo, complete with maddening panning and harmonious, twitching, Whammy-soaked pentatonics. This song is a marathon, even if it only clocks in at 4:19 (the longest track on the album).

Blunderbuss will make you tap your foot and call upon it again for repeated listenings. Every one of the thirteen tracks is a keeper, as they are extremely listenable, likeable, and heavy. That being said, listeners may still expect something more profound from one of the most revered and creative blues rock minds of the last 20 years. Without a doubt though, fans will be thrilled by the opportunity to witness yet another distinct dimension of Jack White’s enigmatic realm.

The Review: 9/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Sixteen Saltines
– Freedom at 21
– Love Interruption
– Blunderbuss
– Weep Themselves to Sleep
– I’m Shakin’
– Trash Tongue Talker

The Big Hit

– Sixteen Saltines

Review by Jason Bank

Buy the album: Amazon | iTunes

Pete Francis

Pete Francis is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Blues Rock Review. Pete launched Blues Rock Review full-time in 2011 because he felt there was a major void in how the blues rock genre was covered. Pete is the host of Blues Rock Weekly and a co-host on the Blues Rock Show.

One thought on “Jack White: Blunderbuss Review

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