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Ram Review: Blunderbuss


Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 02:04


Jack White’s first solo project, Blunderbuss, was released April 24. iTunes had the album streaming free for a limited time since Tuesday, April 17. The title refers to both a song on the album and an early shotgun from the 17th century. Fans of White will be fans of this album. It features good rock and blues with grooving base lines and his well-known wailing vocals.

White is best known as being one half of the now broken up White Stripes, the other half being his ex-wife (not sister) Meg White. He is also a member of the Dead Weather and the Raconteurs. White has a distinctive style and an instantly recognizable voice, so although this is his first solo project, it does not veer sharply from his previous material. Jack White always sounds like Jack White, no matter which band name he is using.

In actuality, Blunderbuss does not sound like a solo project. It has a full sound that benefits from a variety of instruments and even female vocals in some places that is to say, this solo album comes across as a group effort. The album has the feel of a jam session, with White at its swirling center.

After a few listens, no particular track stands above the rest. Yet, sometimes I am struck by the way White pronounces the word “nervous” on “I’m Shakin” and sometimes I find myself loving the organ melody on “Missing Pieces.” Every listen brings a new facet of the album to life.

Blunderbuss has a retro feel to it, especially in the second half of the album. Clocking in at about 44 minutes, there is not a single song in the bunch that I consider junk, and the second half of the album shines as much as the first. The second half features a jangling piano in contrast to a more hard-rocking first half, which keeps the album interesting; every song is a little quirky.

All things considered, this album is tailor-made to people that like their rock with a healthy dose of blues. 

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