Keven's Music Review: JACK WHITE – Blunderbuss

I was pretty depressed when I heard Jack White had split up The White Stripes. I knew he wasn't finished creating stellar music, but the Stripes were home to his best creative outlet. With his first ever solo album dropping in the wake of a White Stripeless world, has the singer come out unscathed?

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'Blunderbuss' is a grim folk rock opus that will satisfy fans of White's more toned down material. There is a lot and I mean a lot of tracks that sound like they were smacked on the record straight out of the 70's. I feel like I needed a big bag of drugs, some sort of cool carpet to sit on and greasier hair to truly get a feel for this collection of songs. White has crafted some fantastic acoustic jams that reminded me of classic Elton John or even The Doors. 'Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy' even sounds like a Beatles cover song that never was.

My favorite track by leaps and bounds is 'Love Interruption' and I will forever be adding that sucker to every mellow playlist for years to come. That song simultaneously sounds relevant while still carrying that oldschool vibe that the rest of the album has. I think that was the largest barrier I had while listening to White's record. I just couldn't relate or vibe with most of the tracks aside from the occasional standout.

The title track 'Blunderbuss' is another slice of finely crafted alternative folk rock. It's when White gets a little too jazzed up on songs like 'Hypocritical Kiss' or 'On and On and On'. It's not that he was too experimental, because every arrangement is fairly standard fare. I think White is a victim of his own appreciation for other genres of music and by trying to take on too many ideas at once, the end results in mediocre execution of a broad array of songs.

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With more focus, Jack White could have unleashed an amazing first solo album but instead fans will have to settle for a record that simply lets everyone know he's alive and doing just fine. 'Blunderbuss' isn't nearly as explosive as its title suggests, but it's a slick mellow record to chill out to. 'Love Interruption' alone is worth the price of admission, just be weary that the rest of the album doesn't quite reach that song's caliber.

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"

3 Stars