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Produced by Jack White and recorded at his own Third Man Studio in Nashville, Blunderbuss has been described by White as "an album I couldn't have released until now. I've put off making records under my own name for a long time but these songs feel like they could only be presented under my name. These songs were written from scratch, had nothing to do with anyone or anything else but my own expression, my own colors on my own canvas."
WHITE JACK BLUNDERBUSS
|Audio CD Release Date:
||April 24, 2012|
||Third Man Records / Columbia|
|Number Of Discs:
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 260 reviews|
|1. ||Missing Pieces|
|2. ||Sixteen Saltines|
|3. ||Freedom At 21|
|4. ||Love Interruption|
|6. ||Hypocritical Kiss|
|7. ||Weep Themselves To Sleep|
|8. ||I'm Shakin'|
|9. ||Trash Tongue Talker|
|10. ||Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy|
|11. ||I Guess I Should Go To Sleep|
|12. ||On And On And On|
|13. ||Take Me With You When You Go|
Average Customer Review:
( 260 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
75 of 79 found the following review helpful:
Jackpot!Apr 26, 2012
By Adam Pawlowski
For reasons that are now unclear to me, I wasn't really excited about this record coming out. I was an idiot. This maybe the most compelling album Jack White has made since... well, that depends on what your favorite White Stripes album is. (For me, it's Elephant). What we have here, then, is a collection of infectious songs that sound like they were recorded by people who were still very excited about playing them. I happened to be driving with the windows down when the opening numbers Missing Pieces and Sixteen Saltines were playing, and, boy, did that WORK. I nearly like every song on this, but the first 9 or ten songs are particularly good with special nods to Weep Themselves to Sleep and Trash Tongue Talker. There is looseness and energy about the performances that I think is rarely heard on modern records. This is certainly the closest thing to a genuine rock album--at least the way I understand the phrase-- that I've heard this year and maybe in quite some time.
Lyrically, Jack is obviously working through some things in his life and, since I'm not a detective nor a tabloid reader, I do not feel the need to know all the details, so suffice it to say that the lyrics have a certain feistiness and honestly about them this time--perhaps more so than usual on Jack's records.
The biggest surprise for me? The overall sound of this CD: it's warm, not overtly compressed with lots of space. (Other artists should take note.) I wouldn't be surprised if the whole thing was recorded on a 2-inch tape. And that is never a bad thing, as far as I'm concerned... Enjoy.
27 of 29 found the following review helpful:
I didn't know he had this in himMay 02, 2012
By Kristopher Spencer
I've always admired Jack White's band work in small doses, so I was curious how his solo project would differ. Wow, color me impressed. All of these songs are thoroughly engaging, thanks not only to solid songwriting and passionate performances, but also spectacular arrangements. I love the variety of instrumentation here -- it's a wonderful rootsy blend of rock, blues, country, bluegrass, honky tonk, folk and old time music hall. What's really outstanding is the piano playing, and I'm not sure who is responsible since the videos I've seen show at least three different players, including Jack. I haven't heard dynamic rock piano like this since Rick Wakeman played on David Bowie's Hunky Dory or Mike Garson played on Bowie's Aladdin Sane. Really spectacular, and none of the reviews I've read in the press seem to notice it. Astonishing. Anyway, I understand Jack has more tunes half finished from this session, and I hope he doesn't wait long to finish them.
43 of 49 found the following review helpful:
One of 2012's Very Best Releases - 4 1/2 starsMay 02, 2012
By Michael Brent Faulkner, Jr.
Does Jack White ever record a bad album? That is a rhetorical question of course (the answer is no). White is one of the most talented songwriters, producers and musicians of our time. His first solo album Blunderbuss (no cheap shots at his macro role with The White Stripe of course) is highly representative of his consummate gifts. White's solo work is not so different a style than say his work with The White Stripes, though the instrumentation is certainly fuller - he allows for plenty of help on Third Man released effort (Sony).
The album opens with the brilliant "Missing Pieces," in which minimalistic Rhodes lines, covered by White himself, set the tone. A drum groove eventually enters, reminiscing back to 1960's rock and roll. On "Missing Pieces," White allows for plenty of instrumental moments to show off his talents, including both a Rhodes and electric guitar solo. White doesn't miss a beat on the great followup to "Missing Pieces" in "Sixteen Saltines," which possesses some solid riffs and an addictive grooved buttressed by the drums. The songwriting is noteworthy including notable lines such as "I eat sixteen saltine crackers , then I lick my fingers..." as well as the quasi-unifying hook "who's jealous, who's jealous, who's jealous. Who's jealous of who?"
The interesting groove, intact with tambourine of "Freedom at 21" continues the captivation established by White's cerebral mind. White aims for a quasi-sung/rap performance, in the idiom of indie-/alternative rock of course. Jack White's attitude here is surprising yet refreshing as he again exhibits top-notch songwriting: "Two black gadgets in her hand/that's all she thinks about/no responsibility, no guilt or morals/cloud her judgement, smile on her face/ she does what she damn well please..." "Love Interruption" may be even more creative, if for nothing else than the use of clarinet and bass clarinet, performed by Emily Bowland. Bowland's role as clarinetist replaces the rule of an electric piano or guitar that might traditionally possess the role. Background vocalist Ruby Amanfu assists White on this brief, well written cut, in which he supplies acoustic guitar accompaniment sans drums or bass. I mean who uses clarinet and bass clarinet in rock and roll these days?
"Blunderbuss" is a solid title track, establishing a timbre with pedal steel (Fats Kaplin) as well as acoustic piano, acoustic guitar, and upright bass. An interesting feature is how the acoustic piano and upright bass play in tandem with one another; great orchestration. "Hypocritical Kiss" is even better, one-upping a very well executed title cut. "Hypocritical Kiss" features excellent piano playing by Brooke Waggoner, who has considerable skills. The harmonic progression is sound while unsurprisingly White's production is perfect. The songwriting of this valedictory cut yields another scathing, aggressive turn from White: "...And who the hell's impressed by you? I want names of the people that we know that are falling for this..." Jack White's feeling it on this outing.
"Weep Themselves To Sleep" ends up being the longest cut of the album, but still the duration is under four and a half minutes. "I'm Shakin'," composed by Randolph Toombs proves to be a more thrilling cut, cultivating a blues-rock sound intact with guitar effects. The groove contrasts the slower, more dramatic nature of "Weep Themselves to Sleep." Further adding to the greatness is the trio of background vocalists: Ruby Amanfu, Karen Elson, and Laura Matula. "Trash Tongue Talker" keeps up the momentum with White handling acoustic piano duties on this cut. The musicianship unquestionable here, another high watermark of this album.
"Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy" is clever with a six-feel and the use of interruptions to the standard groove if not a first-tier cut. "I Guess I Should Go To Sleep" is in one metrically, contrasting previous cuts. White again delivers solid songwriting as well as shows off some gifted pianistic skill. Again flaunting his pianistic skills, White plays through a Leslie Speaker on "On and On and On" to give the cut a more unique timbre. Closing cut "Take Me With You When You Go" ends the album as exceptionally and strong as it began, with White delivering another capable vocal performance as well as solid guitar chops on his solo. A change of pace is a contrast just after the 2:00 mark.
Overall, Blunderbuss makes few missteps if any. The cuts tend to be short, well executed, and memorable. White's musicianship and mark shines through all the thirteen tracks. Even where vocally he may not be the best singer, his style and approach are perfect for this type of album. Don't be surprised if Blunderbuss is a Grammy darling come 2013.
46 of 54 found the following review helpful:
This White is DarkApr 24, 2012
By Rudy Palma
"The Writing Fiend"
If Jack White hasn't created a masterpiece in "Blunderbuss," he's come damn close. Proving he has quite a future post-White Stripes, he has cobbled together a collection of tunes that pulse, soothe and always rock, flying by in a slick, fast-moving fashion. It marks one of those rare occasions where a mental and spiritual exorcism for the artist is also a destined pleasure for those interested in absorbing his art.
Unpretentious, callow, straightforward, laid-back - these are hardly attributes that applied to White previously, and now that he is relying solely on his own instincts and proclivities this is even more pronounced. Oftentimes he veers up and down the emotional scale several times within the same song, taking the listener in unexpected directions that provide a roadmap of both his disillusionments and idiosyncrasies.
To be sure, White is a restless presence on "Blunderbuss" - lamenters of the demise of White Stripes will find a musical life boat within its gripping, extremely impressive 42 minutes. Thematic comparison to Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks" is certainly justified. This is an album of one man's heartbreak and the turmoil, introspection and eventual resurrection which followed.
His elegant, rapturous playing on his Rhodes and his grand, aggressive guitar playing bolster the tunes with a full-bodied precision that is by now expected. The extremely catchy "Freedom at 21," which features a fiery, inspired near-rap, is illustrative of the latter, while the schizophrenic, relatively quiet "Hypocritical Kiss" exemplifies the former.
This is music that not only compels repeated plays but reveals further treasures with them. There is an immediacy to White's often unsettling vocal performances, as though he walked into the recording booth to lay down the tracks immediately after tweaking the final melody lines. He minces no words and purges his emotions unrepentantly. This works since the swelling, often riotous music surges forth to sync up with his dour sentiments.
"I want love to grab my fingers slowly, slam them in a doorway, put my face in the ground" from "Love Interruption" is characteristic of his self-effacement. It seems he will not attend any speed-dating sessions in the near future. As a matter of fact, his wrenchingly negative opinion of women (and love in general) is made so clear that it would not be altogether surprising were NOW to issue a formal response to the album.
Most important is the vintage of the music, however, and Jack White proves himself to be an incredible musician here. He is a fascinating and frustratingly enigmatic talent who consistently makes choices that are not merely unorthodox but downright original, all the while expressing himself in a way that feels familiar - as though the sounds and sentiments he puts forth were already confirmed truths in search of a mouthpiece to report them to the world. That quality of conviction is rare and only part of what makes "Blunderbuss" a must-listen.
13 of 14 found the following review helpful:
Awesome Music and Awesome Mastering.Apr 29, 2012
Fans of Jack White's work will not be disappointed with the music that is presented on this album. I have already listened to the album a few times since getting it and did not once get the urge to skip a track. While I could spend a good amount of time during this review breaking down each song, I have instead decided to focus in on the mastering.
I was extremely surprised (in a pleasant way) that this album wasn't mastered in a "hot" fashion. As many audiophiles know the "loudness war" over the past few years has reached a point where it was painful to listen to music (Pick up a copy of Metallica's Death Magnetic to hear what I mean). This album is very dynamic which makes it pleasant to listen to repeatedly. Bob Ludwig of gateway mastered this album and he has done an excellent job.
To some it up, pick up this album for both the excellent music and mastering.
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