Jack White may be best known as the former frontman of Grammy Award-winning rock band the White Stripes, but the singer/songwriter/producer/instrumentalist (and one-time actor) is, not all that surprisingly, also a founding member of The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather. As if being part of three commercially successful rock bands is not enough, White has also collaborated with an eclectic mix of powerhouse musicians including The Rolling Stones, Beck, Danger Mouse, Alicia Keys, Bob Dylan, Insane Clown Posse, Loretta Lynn and more.
His debut solo album “Blunderbuss” is White at his best, bringing elements of blues, classic rock, R&B and folk, along with his oddly poetic lyrics. White produced each song and wrote all but one on the 13-track album.
The first single, “Love Interruption,” is the perfect introduction to an album filled with clearly personal stories of collapsing relationships, loss, frustration and passion, presented in a way only White can pull off. Leadoff track “Missing Pieces” sets the pace with a bluesy vibe and slightly depressing, if not brilliant lyrics. “Sometimes someone controls everything about you/ and when they tell you that they just can’t live without you/ They ain’t lying, they’ll take pieces of you/ And they’ll stand above you/ and walk away, that’s right, And take a part of you with them.”
“Sixteen Saltines” is the album’s second single, featuring infectious guitar riffs and powerful vocals and lyrics dripping with jealousy. “She doesn’t know but when she’s gone I sit and drink her perfume/ and I’m sure she’s drinking too/ but why, where and what for and who?”
“Freedom at 21” follows a femme fatale of sorts, who is never quite within reach. “Cut off the bottoms of my feet/ made me walk on salt/ Take me down to the police/ charge me with assault/ Smile on her face/ she does what she wants to me.” His impressive electric guitar solos and piercing vocals make this a standout track.
White has never been quite as weird, brilliant or unpredictable since his time in The White Stripes – making “Blunderbuss” one of the more worthwhile rock albums out there.
The album is available now, and White is making a stop at WaMu Theater Aug. 14 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available on http://www.ticketmaster.com for $46.50.
Reviewed By Kate Burrows