This whole album makes me want to rummage through Jack White's record collection and see what sort of gems he's drawing his inspiration from.
Artist: Jack White
Label: Third Man Records
Length: 11 tracks
I recently heard a deejay on the radio refer to Jack White as the "Willy Wonka of music." I was thinking about this description as I picked up White's newest record, Lazaretto, and as I listened to each one of its eleven tracks, I realized this just might be the most accurate description of White. He has the knack for taking numerous, disparate elements and blending them into something intriguing, if not great, hence the Willy Wonka comparison. There are very few artists who can do what White does, and he is arguably the most consistently talented one doing it.
Lazaretto takes you on a musical tour of Jack White's mind, and because there is so much variety there, you never really know where he'll take you next. He starts with the funky groove of "Three Women," and then keeps it going with the title track which made me wonder what a Jack White-produced hip hop record would sound like. But then he veers off into bluesy Americana folk with "Temporary Ground." Later, we get "High Ball Stepper," an instrumental built around a dirty blues riff and a shrieking vocal hook, and then "Just One Drink," which embraces the country rock stylings of the Georgia Satellites. One of my personal favorites, "That Black Bat Licorice," delivers stomping blues rock propelled by a reggae-tinged drum beat. This whole album makes me want to rummage through Jack White's record collection and see what sort of gems he's drawing his inspiration from.
This is a really good record that will bear multiple listenings, just so you can catch all the nuances White adds to the production. He has certainly shaken off any specter of the White Stripes as he strikes out on his own, and Lazaretto is a very loud statement to that fact. This one is worth picking up.