wed 13/12/2017

Album of the Year: Jack White – Lazaretto | reviews, news & interviews

Album of the Year: Jack White – Lazaretto

Album of the Year: Jack White – Lazaretto

It's music you've heard before, but it never sounded like this

In which Jack White gives rock'n'roll and country (and everything else) a good kicking

Jack White (the former John Anthony Gillis) was born in Detroit and now lives in Nashville, a geographical progression you can hear in his music. He loves rude, dirty rock'n'roll but also has a fine instinct for country music, both of which tendencies are splurged all over this consistently inspired album (his second solo venture and the follow-up to 2012's Blunderbuss). You won't hear any country music played sweeter than "Entitlement" (not that the lyric's particularly sweet, mind), yet White can also create a rockin' wall of chaos like "Three Women", which sounds like Jerry Lee Lewis and Led Zeppelin falling down the lift shaft of an enormous skyscraper.

At his live shows in 2014, White has dazzled and bamboozled audiences in equal measure with performances bursting with too much of everything, delivered with the berserk energy of a Marvel Comics superhero. On disc, you get to hear how his really smart trick is to sustain the spirit of the music he loves even while he subjects it to all kinds of distortion, hybridisation and sonic tomfoolery. It's like an analog world viewed through a swirling 3D prism. In "Would You Fight for My Love?" he wheels out melodramatic piano and flamethrower guitar, then adds woozy Morricone-style girls' voices and a reedy organ seemingly beamed in from a distant galaxy. The title track features a stop-go rhythm which could leave you nursing whiplash injuries, before throwing the floor open to hectoring hip hop, burbling electronica, a guitar solo you could crack safes with and a fiddle break that closely approximates a nervous breakdown. Yet, when he wants to, he can peel off a near-perfect pop song like "Alone in My Home", which can get you waving your arms about while wearing a big stupid grin.

I reviewed this record earlier in the year and gave it four stars. But you know what, this time I'll give it five.

The title track features a stop-go rhythm which could leave you nursing whiplash injuries

rating

Editor Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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