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Blunderbuss?


A Blunderbuss is…

A)   Dr. Seuss character?

B)   A chaotic state of confusion?

C)   Some sort of British slang?

The answer is none of the above. It is in fact an outdated muzzle-loading firearm and much more importantly the title of Jack White’s debut solo album.

Just like the stunningly loud report of the short-barreled blunderbuss, Jack White’s album is a surprising assortment that will definitely impress his fans.  White has created a complex and diverse collection of songs that have been deemed “brilliant” by Rolling Stone regarding the trials of loss and the disillusionment of all that unfolds in the aftermath of a successful partnership.

The dissolution of his marriage to Karen Elson and the end of The White Stripes may have been the push he needed to venture out on his own.  Always one to collaborate with others, White has performed incredibly well within The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather and of course, The White Stripes.  So it’s relieving to see he’s just as talented as ever on his own. Already a master at singing the blues, this time you can expect some more country and piano than ever before.  Recording in Nashville definitely influenced the sound of this record, although White’s style remains recognizable.

Blunderbuss opens up with Missing Pieces that provides a bit of insight into how he’s been feeling lately…

Sometimes someone controls everything about you

and when they tell you that they just can’t live without you

They aint lying, they’ll take pieces of you

and they’ll stand above you and walk away,

that’s right and take a part of you with them

 Those who have previously loved White’s guitar riffs will love the familiar sound of Sixteen Saltines and Freedom at 21.  For those who crave something different prepare to fall in love with Love Interruption.  A song that reminds us all that love can feel as horrid as it once felt good, how it can change suddenly from grabbing your fingers gently to slamming them in a door. The frequent piano playing heard on the album is a nice alternative to the heavy garage rock and electric riffs, White has become known for. The album titled track, Blunderbluss is a soft, wistful and beautiful track that contains a Neil Young vibe. Hypocritical Kiss is a short and powerful track that is also my personal favourite.  Slow paced, beautiful and vengeful, White lashes out at those who pretend to be something they’re not.

Although this album is a solo effort, receiving some support never hurts. White surrounds himself with an assorted band of talented women, Ruby Amanfu is responsible for most of the background vocals and Karen Elson herself participates in “On and On and On.” Brooke Waggoner plays piano beautifully and Carla Azar and Olivia jean rock out on the drums.

This record has already gained numerous reviews full of praise and excessive flattery, so I will not bother with any acclamations of my own. I’d much rather you give the album a listen and learn to appreciate it for yourself.  There’s probably a good reason why so many critics seem fascinated by Blunderbuss and even better reason as to why Jack White has reached the No.1 slot on the Billboard 200 for the first time ever.

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