Jack White really is playing up his upcoming album. Titled Blunderbuss, his first-ever solo album is currently streaming for free on iTunes. (For anyone baffled at the title, you’re not alone; I had to Google it, and a “blunderbuss” is a kind of gun. So there you go.)
Now, I’m a huge fan of White and all of his musical ventures (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather), so my opinion is probably super biased, but Blunderbuss is freakin’ awesome. It’s definitely a departure from what we’ve come to expect – it’s still raw, and still has that throwback feel, but has got the weirdness dial turned up to 10. To paraphrase Billboard’s Jem Aswad, it’s familiar enough to be recognizably Jack White, but strange enough to put fans out of their comfort zone and show musical progression and growth for White.
Blunderbuss seems to deal mostly with love, love lost, and heartbreak – which is unsurprising, given White’s recent divorce from supermodel Karen Elson. Interestingly though, Elson features as a backing vocalist throughout the album; White and Elson declared that they’d remain good friends after the divorce (they have two children together), but you can’t help but wonder about the dynamic in the recording studio. In “Forever 21,” White sings (ostensibly about Elson) “No responsibility, no guilt or morals / Cloud her judgment,” and in “Sixteen Saltines” admits “And the Lord knows there’s a method to her madness / But the Lord jokes as I float in a sea of sadness.” Either they are on fantastically good terms, or the recording sessions were awkward as hell. And either way, it’s still awesome.
White will also be live streaming his Webster Hall show live on his YouTube page on April 27 – and the stream is going to be directed by fellow badass Gary Oldman.
Blunderbuss hits stores April 24. Give it a listen here, and let us know what you think!