ÃÂ Following the split of The White Stripes Jack White decided to go solo & has recently released his debut album. Adrian Bloxham, who was never a big White Stripes fan, has reviewed this album for us. See what he thought below.
Just to say, I liked Seven Nation Army and that was it, I never rated the White Stripes. No, keep reading, I understand that's almost sacrilege but it's just the way it is. The Raconteurs I liked, the album was great and the way Mr White fitted into a group made far more sense to me. So now the White Stripes are gone and sorely missed by some of you. Here's his solo album...do I like it?
Funky keyboards and bass, a gentle introduction until Jack sings, his voice is never subtle. Missing Pieces is, as so many of his songs are, a story. A nosebleed, ice and a limbless torso. His songs are never boring. The guitars can only be his too, some people make their own noise from a guitar and Jack is one. Fading away without any fuss just the end of the story. Sixteen Saltines was the track leading Later with Joolz, immediate guitar, huge guitar and the song builds and follows the crashing fretwork. Probably the closest track to the White Stripes on the album, and for anyone who sighed then, I can't not mention them, I have already explained where I sit as regards that camp but half the people will want this album to be the next White Stripes album and the other half are looking for something far more interesting. He sounds aggressive and hurt.
Menacing is the way the drums and bass introduce Freedom at 21, the guitar almost an afterthought. Another story of being wronged and heartache, but not blues, sounding more angry than sad. She don't care. Set to a T-Rex glitterball riff right in the middle. It falls apart at the end, the guitar almost falling out of tune. Then, Love Interuption, a quiet, strumming about how Love won't disrupt, corrupt or interrupt me anymore. A stream of tales of what love does and how it's not going to happen again.Blunderbuss to me echoes the softer moments of Led Zeppellin, especially Jack's voice, there's no hippy ideals or misty mountain movements, just another story. But just another story from Mr White on this album is something you want to hear and listen to over again. From Seventies Rock we get Hypocritical Kiss; tumbling piano and Jack singing like a Vegas Showman. Is it a new date going wrong? ”ËLong words never bothered me like they do to you', it's like anything new and moving on is doomed to fail. From Zep and Vegas to total Rock Bombast, Weep Themselves to Sleep is fantastic, it's like Queen and Tom Jones mixed their DNA and added fuzzbox guitar soloing over the top, and over the top it is, a triumph.
I'm Shakin', Rock'n'roll of the old school, hip wiggling finger snapping beats and a guitar scratchy and brittle on top. ”ËSo you got me shakin''. Trash Tongue Talker about a woman trying to get onto his song. Honky Tonk piano and a slow beat hurrying up with a Killer piano break, that's as in the Killer, not just killer.
I really like the way this album just changes, Hip Eponymous Poor Boy has a fairground intro and them segues into an almost music hall or musical film score. Nothing like the former tracks and all the better for it. I Guess I Should Go To Sleep is the Blues, rich and sad, struggling on and doing stuff because you should not because you want to. On and On and On, gently forward moving on a sea of strings until a noise laden finale. Take Me With You when You Go is the final word. This album is all about relationships falling apart and this is what you want at the end, not for it to finish, one last chance, another way to move forward and not lose what you had. It moves into that buzzing guitar and hard drums, a good way to finish.So, not the next Stripes album, something interesting and warm. An album of loss and heartbreak and an immensely listenable journey.
All words Adrian Bloxham. More articles by Adrian can be found here.