Jack White has long since departed The White Stripes, has dabbled with various artists, other bands including The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, Bob Dylan, Norah Jones; and for all that is known, Uncle Tom Cobley and his eclectic band of English nursery rhymes.
It’s all down to a very good reason, the man is just extremely talented and a musician whose very presence in a studio or on stage can set the musical desire in everyone loose and free. This sense of freedom follows in Jack White’s debut solo album Blunderbuss. Not close to 40 yet he has the type of output that would make Joe Bonnamassa seethe with jealousy. Whilst his guitar playing is not to be considered in the same vein as the Blues/Rock ambassador, it should be said that at times, and incredibly so on this album, is more fun, more accessible to the generation who grew up adoring his early songs with Meg White and who have followed his career with the intensity of the zealots and passionate.
It is an album though that lacks definition, a final box to shoehorn this talent into and for that alone, it deserves to be bought with cold hard cash, savoured, poured over and listened to till the C.D. becomes scratched, tarnished and finally deposited onto a piece of string as a fancy decoration. Even then you won’t to let it go.
It is also an album that won’t grab you on first hearing it, so intently will you be listening, trying to decide where songs such as Hypocritical Kiss, Weep Themselves To Sleep and Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy fit into that some part of your brain will completely melt to mush and you will have to play it a second time just to catch up with your own reasoning.
It’s hard to find fault with an album of this quality, if there is one it has the feel of sticking two fingers up to what has happened before, not a bad thing if your talented enough, of which Jack White assuredly is, but it can lead to people down the line wondering if it was done with sincerity.
Blunderbuss on the whole delivers buckshots to the behind of Britain’s and the United States’ so called “musical elite”. An excellent debut album and one to keep!
Ian D. Hall