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Aural Pleasure Review

Jack White: 'Blunderbuss'

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For those who think of Jack White as a rock god turned eccentric music mogul peddling odd (and awful) one-off collaborative singles from a gaudy yellow taco truck, this album might come as a bit of a surprise. If, however, you can forget all the impulsive strangeness and guitar-slaying bombast, you're left with a guy who, throughout the White Stripes' catalog, channels and interprets the likes of Bob Dylan, Robert Johnson, and Son House. In the dusty half-light of the latter view, this album seems natural and perhaps even overdue. On Blunderbuss, White ranges effortlessly from boozy 1970s country to churning 1960s garage rock and back by way of the fast-talkin' blues. Preposterously titled "Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy" and first single "Love Interruption" are clever, muscular, and unforgettably catchy. Meanwhile, "Blunderbuss" and "Weep Themselves to Sleep," the album's two finest songs, are pastoral affairs filled with patient build-ups and invigorating climaxes. However rock 'n' roll posterity decides to view White and his solo debut, two things are certain: (1) He has more than proven himself a multifaceted master of the many modes of American songcraft, and (2) he probably doesn't give a shit.

★★★★ (out of 5 stars)

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