If you haven’t heard Jack White’s name by now, you’ve probably been living under a rock – no, a boulder. The man’s bluesy rugged rock has long infected the global music scene since the now defunct two-piece garage revivalists, The White Stripes, emerged out of Detroit with their critically acclaimed and commercial successful third album, White Blood Cells, containing the worldwide phenomenon, Seven Nation Army, the one with that riff that sounds-like-a-bassline-but-it’s-not. Seriously, it’d be hard to press someone who hasn’t mashed their head at least once to it. Since, White’s released three more albums with his ex-wife/sister/whatever before disbanding in 2009 much to fan’s disapproval; founded his own label; formed two supergroups, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather, with two albums to show for each; and is now releasing tracks on his own moniker. And despite the hectic schedule of all these projects, the quality is somewhat unsurprisingly still here in abundance.
Jumping the gun, Jack comes in strong on the opening track, ‘Missing Pieces,’ with the ’70s-esque electric piano intro juxtaposing the lyrical bitterness he expresses, (“Sometimes someone controls everything about you / And when they tell you that they can’t live without you / They ain’t lyin’, they’ll take pieces of you”), but he soldiers on, giving leeway for his signature guitar riffs to make a cameo in their own right. There’s a few more post-divorce lovesick gems on the album, like the masochistic acoustic ballad, ‘Love Interruption,’ but the trademark Jack White entertainment factor and pure thrills are delivered through the more upbeat, rough-edged guitar lashing tracks. Dirty blues-driven second single ‘Sixteen Saltines’ is everything we’ve come to expect over the years and has all the makings of a classic White track: it’s own deliciously malicious riff, eccentric lyricism, and the utmost passion and formidable intensity in the delivery. The ridiculously infectious cover of Little Willie John’s ‘I’m Shakin’ is another standout, led by the funky Southern riffing and soulful backing vocals that hammers home the straight up dance euphoria and really makes the track his own.
Blunderbuss is, of sorts, another reinvention for Jack White, reassuring his loyal fans, still pining for a White Stripes reunion, that he’s still very much in the game, but tweaking his ingenuity and maturing as a songwriter and producer. The fusion of White’s signature garage, alternative and folk rock, makes for a wonderfully accessible album lying deep in the roots of old school blues, that will please old, and introduce new – if there’s anybody left.