Jack White shares his blues in first solo album

Pitchforks: 4/5

Record Label: Columbia

A tumultuous year for Jack White did not stop the artist from producing a solo rock album that will leave a ringing sound of truth in your ears. White announced his solo production almost one year to the day of The White Stripes split. Not only did The Stripes admit to failure, but so did White’s marriage to model Karen Elson. Needless to say, the musician had a rough 2011.

Jack White calls his solo effort “Blunderbuss.” The work begins with the track “Missing Pieces,” an easy-to-swallow horse pill of a rock song. In the lyrically painful but melodically cathartic track, White sings, “Sometimes someone controls everything about you/ when they tell you they can’t live without you/ they ain’t lying/ they’ll take pieces of you/ and stand above you/ and walk away.”

White makes the subtle transition into the album’s second single titled “Sixteen Saltines.” The most punk-rock influenced song on “Blunderbuss” reflects a part of White’s musical styling that listeners often hear in his project The Dead Weather.  The dangerous, sexy and wild “Sixteen Saltines” displays a side of White that is mysterious and carefree.

With songs like “Love Interruption” and “Hip (Eponymous) Boy,” on the other hand, White cares a little more than he typically likes to show. He echoes in “Love Interruption” the lines, “I won’t let love disrupt, corrupt or interrupt me anymore.” White’s as sick as dog with a strong case of the blues.

He obviously grieves over The White Stripes break up in “Hip (Eponymous) Boy” with the lines, “I’ll be using your name/ but they’ll be yelling at me/ ‘poor boy’/ ‘poor boy’” and “let the stripes unfurl” as Jack White took Meg White’s last name in their marriage and for the band name. It must have been liberating for White to finally be able to subtly expose his personal life in his music.

White’s cover of Little Willie John’s “I’m Shakin’” will steam up the hearts of listeners and remind them why White is one of the most influential artists of our time. His ability to take old sounds and make them brand new with an edgy twist credits him as a true musical innovator and leader.

White drops the red-white-and-black colors of his past and picks up shades of blue. “Blunderbuss” is an open diary — an intimate look into the heart of Jack White. The color blue — the color of truth and wisdom — is a fitting choice for the rock star.

Reach the reporter at jhgee@asu.edu

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