Jack White has recently released Blunderbuss - his solo album. Quite a few people have asked for my opinion of this album - possibly because I wasn't always the Kool Aid-drinking type when it came to The White Stripes. I wrote this post about how I didn't quite get the buzz.
The only sensible thing to do with a big release like this then is to walk through it track-by-track. Let me be your guide.
Missing Pieces: Ooh it's like Cluedo has been turned into a Crime and Investigation channel whodunit doco-drama and the intro to this song is the opening credit music. Will the missing pieces be found? Will the case be solved? Then Jack White's voice enters - he tells us he was in the shower and that he couldn't tell his nose was bleeding. Not sure if these are more clues. But they are the lyrics. Jack knows other female drummers yet he stuck with Meg for so long? Well she did kinda make The White Stripes - or at least she is what sold them. Time for a trademark Jack White guitar solo: prepare the sewing machine. A swirl of Rhodes too. All work and no play makes Jack a dull...er...
Sixteen Salteens: Jack White covers every single White Stripes song in less than three minutes (wish he'd done that the first time around - could have saved some hassle) and decides to "steal back" the riff from Beverly Hills 90210. Fair enough.
Freedom At 21: I think this is Jack White's hip-hop song. Hip-hop-hooray. But make sure to add some squiggly-line guitar solos because that vocal feels like when The Grateful Dead tried to sing blues songs, yo.
Love Interruption: Sounds like a Robert Plant solo album. You know, Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin? Yeah - but more like a Robert Plant solo album if Robert Plant had never been in Led Zeppelin.
Blunderbuss: If Neil Young had written the Denis Leary song A**hole it would sound like this.
Hypocritical Kiss: I really want to hear the Meg White solo album. At least we know it would have two big hits. (ed - possible typo?)
Weep Themselves To Sleep: I can't believe/you deceive/ what we receive lyrically/by stringing words/ together so easily. You're a poet/ and you don't even know it, but you know it/ though you might blow it, nod to Bob, and then the throb/of a guitar solo that peeks/and seeks and aims to please. You sleaze/you better plug that lead in properly. It's bleeding, like your nose/just shows you need to source/a force of better power/or leave it all alone/and have/another shower.
I'm Shakin': I'm glad Jimmy Page is dead so he never has to hear this.
Trash Tongue Talker: I'm glad The Rolling Stones are dead so they never have to hear this.
Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy: What if Tim Finn never met Phil Judd, was an only child and released music still under the name Brian Finn. Weird right? This song should have been released on the solo album by John Anthony Gillis.
I Guess I Should Go To Sleep: If this album has a redeeming feature it's the piano playing. Oh but that's (mostly) Jack White. Wow, I get it. He really is a genius, WHAT! WHAT!
On And On And On: Finally the record becomes self-evident.
Take Me With You When You Go: Okay, maybe not.
Well, there you go - a track-by-track walk through the 13 tracks and 42 minutes of Blunderbuss. A giant clusterf**k of an album that is all at once exactly what I expected from the lead White Stripe and not really anything like The White Stripes (apart from that medley of songs disguised as Sixteen Salteens and the coda to the last song and the three or four skittish stabs at guitar solos that hover around the tracks like pesky summer flies).
But hey, that's just a first go at a track-by-track. That's just what I can hear from looking at the tracklisting, staring at the cover and holding the disc up to my ear. I'll be sure, next time, when I can conquer the inertia, summon the spare time and fight off the crashing indifference, to actually put the CD in the tray and press play.
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