Jack White's Solo Debut, Blunderbuss: A First Listen

Categories: First Listens

"Trash Tongue Talker"

Swear he took this piano bit from McCartney or The Band or someone. The most retro-sounding track so far; your great-uncle will swear he's heard this before. What's with all this sudden good roots-rock, between this and the surprisingly sweet Alabama Shakes album? Next thing you know, the Black Keys will make a record I actually enjoy.

"Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy"

If the Decemberists didn't suck, The King Is Dead might've sounded like this bouncy spring of a jaunty folktune.

"I Guess I Should Go to Sleep"

As far as ultra-trad reinventions go, this is probably a little better than White's work on Loretta Lynn's Van Lear Rose. Of course, there is such a thing as being so ultra-trad that it's difficult to write about. I'd like to think this album "corrects" Fleet Foxes and the Black Keys. For one thing, I haven't looked at my watch, which I wish I could say of the other two acts.

"On and On and On"

If we're gonna stagnate, might as well do it on the next-to-last song right? The somewhat unexpected, liquidly chorused guitar solo justifies the inclusion of this one, and hey, is that standup bass? Title's dumb, the chorus kind of is, too. But the song's so breezy that I can't imagine picking up one's finger to skip it. I just can't.

"Take Me With You When You Leave"

Ha, and we return to the intro theme again, with loopier falsetto vocals and more female accompaniment, more cranky organ and strings, more jazzy drums and piano worthy of a Peanuts special. A neat little summum of a neat little album if nothing else. Like Get Behind Me Satan, you won't really notice how little rocking Blunderbuss does -- which is why our hero thoughtfully tacked on his scuzziest crunch-funk riffage for the double-time funk of the end. Who would've thought the weird little dude was such a crowd pleaser?

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Jack White's first solo album, Blunderbuss, debuts at #1 this week in both the U.S. and the U.K. This marks the fourth time that the first solo album by a prominent member of a group or duo has reached #1 in both countries.


I want this album so badly!! I have a feeling "Blunderbuss" is going to be one of my favorite albums of 2012!! Jack White is a musical genius!!


I honestly can not wait for this to come out. I'm a huge fan of the white stripes, and I'm both curious and frightened to see what Jack can do without Meg. But that's kind of what he is, isn't it? Curious and frightening, with a whole lot of soul and ugly love mixed in. (I also have to admit to LOVING the idea of Jack White tied up in the back of a car ;)


Wow.. Spoken like a true, lets say cynic. I am sure most will agree that whatever Jack White touches will be full or originality and soul. This reviewer didn't go so far as to bash anyone, with the exception of some really great bands, but didn't really say anything either did he? As a "early release" reviewer, I would imagine you would like to actually take pride and responsibility in the privileges that you have been bestowed. Hypocritically, a poor written piece.  

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