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Blunderbuss

Jack White

2012

Jack White's 1st solo album isn't a bad one persay, but it does lack a certain something...probably Meg White.

It's interesting to hear Jack without Meg.  Although he's backed up by more accomplished musicians now, that fact ends up kind of diluting the overall sound here.  The simplicity and power of The White Stripes music is sorely missed here, as Blunderbuss sounds somewhat unfocused and generally subdued by comparison.  There are definitely a few good songs here, but none of them are really in the same league as TWS's best songs. 

So again, though not bad, and admittedly somewhat interesting throughout, Blunderbuss ultimately sounds underwhelming, which makes it a bit of a disappointment as a result.

7.7

Lazaretto

Jack White

2014

Now this is actually pretty interesting.  There's more emphasis on sonic experimentation on this album (see the mindblowingly awesome "High Ball Stepper" for example).  Jack White's guitar solos are pretty awesome at times, and I also particularly enjoy the warped use of high-pitched keyboards and odd pianos that crop up on some songs, which contributes to Lazaretto's somewhat warped/trippy/eccentric personality.  There's also a subtle Rolling Thunder-era Bob Dylan vibe going on here, with some violins, fiddles, and backing female vocals that sport a country flare.  Jack's choruses and lyrics also kind of recall Dylan's Desire-era ramblings, but it sounds more refreshing and charming.

So there's a lot going on here, and overall, it's all pretty impressive and interesting.  A more challenging, yet more infectious and engaging listen that Blunderbuss...would have to say this is easily Jack White's best solo album to date.  Borderline great.

8.5

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