Western Courier

Jack White’s new album is, well Jack White

John Benedeck, Courier Staff

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The White Stripes entered the music industry in the late ‘90s fronted by Jack and Meg White.They conjured hits like “Seven Nation Army” and “Fell in Love with a Girl” and won three “Best Album” Grammys.The rock duo had it all. They were dirty, mean and mighty unclean, but controversy and relationship issues tore the group apart. They declared hiatus in 2011. That’s when Meg was out, and Jack was in.

Jack White began his solo career with “Blunderbuss” which received five Grammy nominations. He was soaring.

Things took off beyond expectations with 2014’s powerhouse “Lazaretto.” The single alone hit top-ten charts across the world and was on Billboard’s Top 200.

The album itself was Billboard’s number one album as well, which is no surprise. White’s revolutionary modern-day big band style made it possible for big sound.

The White Stripes were a punk-style small band that featured big-amp guitar riffs. This appealed to the angsty music crowd on the tail end of the grunge age.

White’s “Lazaretto” featured obscure musical aspects such as the extraterrestrial Theremin, and a dueling fiddle solo. It was industry changing and took the alternative universe by storm.

White moved from alternative progressive, to mainstream alternative rock master. Then, along came “Boarding House Reach.”

After a four-year stint of staying out of the limelight, White came back with a 15-song electronic chronicle.

I could say something editorially cliché like, “Each track brings something unique to the table,” but I can’t seem to find words to describe the album.

It sounds like White was trying to fit aspects of White Stripes, Muse and earlier solo works into the album.

“Abulia and Akrasia” begins with the eerie droning fiddles like in “Lazaretto,” but then drones on in a whiny monologue with virtually no meter.

On the other end of the spectrum, literally, is “Everything You’ve Ever Learned.” This opens with an ominous voice-over with digital sampling in the background then breaks into White Stripes-esk big drums and guitars.

This album is chaotic; it can compare to a mental breakdown. Which, I believe, was intentional. Of course it was intentional, it’s Jack White.

White is widely known as a pop-social outcast, as he avoids excessive media distractions and mainstream matters.

On “Conan” back in 2015, White expressed his strong disapproval of cell phones at his concerts. He even stopped a show to call out a fan filming him with their phone.

On the side, White upholsters furniture in his back woods Tennessee cabin, and does not allow his children to have mobile devices.

Some would say he is old fashioned, I would say he is simply, Jack White.

The description is lazy, as it is self-descriptive, but there is no one else on the market like this guy.

“Lazaretto” brought White immense fame and mainstream popularity. His four-year hiatus and release of “Boarding House Reach” seems to be his protest to the conformist billboards and music industry.

Ergo, “Boarding House Reach” is White’s answer to his fame

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Jack White’s new album is, well Jack White