Artist: Jack White
Album Reviewer: Michael Mariscal
Before listening to this album, I didn’t know much about Jack White. I finished it only more confused.
Throughout this album, there are two very different styles battling it out. One style is a soft, mellow, acoustic folk, made up by Temporary Ground, Just One Drink, Alone in My Home, Entitlement, and Want and Able. Here White uses pretty sounds: a country-ish violin, a female background singer, and a piano all give these songs a light feel. It’s sometimes catchy, sometimes a little boring, but mostly fun.
The second style is made up by heavy guitar driven high energy head bangers like Three Women, Lazaretto, High Ball Stepper, and That Black Bat Licorice. There’s more variety in this category. Though the loud guitar riffs connect them, the vocals (or lack thereof) give them each a unique feel. In That Black Bat Licorice, Jack White comes as close to rapping as it gets, without sacrificing guitar or violin solos. Though I’m usually not one for that genre, it’s adrenaline inspiring and badass. And my other favorite song on the album (and the more popular pick), High Ball Stepper, is purely instrumental. It’s just as energetic as That Black Bat Licorice and even more original in it’s guitar led construction.
But it all blends together thanks to songs like I Think I Found the Culprit and Would You Fight For My Love which keep the piano and the background singer without leaving the energy of Jack White’s crying vocals behind. They turn an odd collection of genres into one cohesive album, no small feat given the drastic differences in the styles on this album.
Overall, this is without a doubt a good album. It’s more uninspired moments (Temporary Ground, Entitlement) are more than shadowed by the awesome genius of High Ball Stepper and That Black Bat Licorice. And best of all, if I were asked to explain who Jack White is, I don’t think I would be able to do it. I give it a 4.5 out of 5.