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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 April 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Third Man / XL Recordings
  • ASIN: B0074DXUM6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,093 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Produced by Jack White and recorded at his own Third Man Studio in Nashville, Blunderbuss has been described by White as "as album I couldn't have released until now. I've put off making records under my own name for a long time but these songs feel like they could only be presented under my name. These songs were written from scratch, had nothing to do with anyone or anything else but my own expression, my own colours on my own canvas."

BBC Review

Having recently divorced his wife of six years, it's tempting to interpret Jack White's debut solo album as his very own version of Dylan's breakup classic, Blood on the Tracks. After all, with its bruised, scabrous lyrics – full of nosebleeds, burst lips, missing limbs and pummelled digits – and preoccupation with love gone not so much bad as cataclysmic, it sounds as though the erstwhile White Stripe has been eviscerated by his loss.

But it's important to remember that, not only was the split apparently amicable (his ex sings back-up on three songs here), but that White has never been a confessional songwriter in the conventional sense. Despite his deep devotion to the blues – that most ‘authentic’ of musical genres – he's a conceptual art-rocker at heart, inhabiting his own unique crossroads between theatrical artifice and bloody-minded sincerity.

There's a sense throughout Blunderbuss – trust him to choose such an archaic weapon – that White is positively revelling in the role of the wronged lover. So you never get the sense that he's being entirely serious; he's too eccentric and machismo-camp to suggest otherwise. It's what defines him as an artist and it's why he may be the only great rock superstar of recent years.

While this isn't a major musical reinvention, it certainly develops his trademark synthesis of stripped-back garage-rock and Americana. Despite his guitar God reputation, White – ever the contrarian – relegates his axe to a supporting role, favouring instead a sort of aquatic country-blues dominated by Rhodes electric piano and the punk-Liberace glissandos of pianist Brooke Waggoner. She's part of a small group of musicians who never detract from White's minimalist aesthetic – Meg may be gone, but the primal rhythms remain – and who hit upon a particularly delightful sound on the breezily Kinks-esque Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy and the compact mini-opera Take Me With You When You Go.

During those moments when White's guitar does come to the fore, it fits and squalls as though it's having a breakdown, although he still swaggers with the best of them on the likes of Sixteen Saltines and on a raucous cover of Little Willie John's jittery hoodoo, I'm Shakin'.

After all these years, there's still nobody quite like him.

--Paul Whitelaw

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By nin/ja77 on 23 April 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Last year Jack White suffered two break ups, the first being the break up of his band The White Stripes who after six albums called it a day, the second was the breakup of his marriage to Karen Elson. So it's fair to say Jack White might have a few things he might want to get off his chest and what better way than to it by releasing his first solo album the wonderful "Blunderbuss" Which is an album of many varying styles and finds one of the most gifted guitarists of his generation on great form throughout.

Anybody who misses The White Stripes will be delighted with the opening combo of "Missing Pieces" and "Sixteen Saltines". Indeed the opening and middle parts of "Missing Pieces" sounds reminiscent of "Dead Leaves and The Dirty Ground" and has rich sounding organ and a familiar Jack White solo. "Sixteen Saltines" is the closest to a White Stripes song can be without the irreplaceable Meg White. There's a brilliant cover of the Little Wilie John (written by Rudy Toombs) song "I'm Shakin'" which has White raising his vocal range and is accompanied by excellent background vocals and keeps true to its 1960 roots.

The title track itself is a wonderful low key affair with a White's voice providing the emotion for the song itself as he sings over an organ and strings. On first single "Love Interruption" White's is brilliantly backed up by Ruby Amanfu on backing vocals. On the song "Freedom at 21" White waxes lyrically and features a trademark Jack White riff and solo. The final track on the album "Take Me with you When You Go" which starts out tame enough before changing pace at past the two minute mark into a frenzied assault of fast paced vocals, it's a great way to close out a superb debut album.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Red on Black TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 April 2012
Format: Audio CD
What is it about Jack White? He blazes a trail where others follow, he captures the moment and he is always ten yards in the lead. On "Blunderbuss" his debut solo album all elements of White's recent past are to found with recognizable snatches of the White Stripes, The Raconteurs and his slightly less successful recent outing The Dead Weather. But White is not standing still, far from it since "Blunderbuss" is an incredibly varied album ranging from huge riff heavy hard rock anthems like "Sixteen Saltines" to the breezy jazzy pop of "Hip (eponymous) poor boy". More than this like Dylan's "Blood on tracks" the themes of break up and divorce runs through this album like a fault line and informs the lyrical preoccupations of many of the songs.

It is true that White's split with British model Karen Elson seems amicable enough with the couple holding a party to celebrate the "making and breaking of the sacred union of marriage," and indeed Elson does some background vocals on three of the songs here. Yet in the first half of "Blunderbuss" in particular White does rally against unhappy domestic predicaments, collapsing relationships and at one point the perfidy of women. You sense as the Americans politely put it that he has "issues" some of which are dramatically captured in the opener "Missing Pieces". While it is possibly the most White Stripeish song on the album its also has a strong confessional bent as White at one point muses that "When someone tells you they can't live without you, they ain't lying/ They'll take pieces of you and walk away." albeit within the confines of a killer song exemplifying him at his absolute best.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By D. J. H. Thorn VINE VOICE on 30 April 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I approach this album from an unusual standpoint: I'm not familiar with any of Jack White's earlier output. Consequently, the other reviews on here, nearly all of which have been written in the light of his past, make fascinting reading for someone who feels as if he's just emerged from the kingdom of the deaf.

Well, I like this album a lot. I think it lacks a truly outstanding track, but is consistently very good. What strikes me most about White is his penchant for a play on words, plus the strong rhythms in his lyrics. The latter possesses the elegance, clarity and occasional beauty that is missing from rap music. 'Trash Tongue Talker' bears a vague resemblance to the form Chuck Berry, who gave rock and roll its poetry, used. Meanwhile, as if to emphasise the 'Hip (Eponymous)' joke, the insert contains a photo of hippos. With 'Love Interruption', White makes much of grouping words that end 'upt'. Partly because of this, his lyrics, like those of many other songwriters are somewhat oblique and impressionistic rather than direct.

Even so, you get the point: most of these tracks have a bitter, waspish aura. I saw his performances of 'Sixteen Saltines' and 'Hip...' on 'Later with Jools Holland' last Friday and he played and sang like a man with a lot to get off his chest. The former, however, is the most abrasive recording on an album that comes in several shades of belligerence. It also contains some brazen innuendo: 'She's got a pink mailbox that she puts out front'. Most moving track? For me, 'On and On and On', in terms of style at least, quite beautiful.

I don't agree with the 'finest guitarist' eulogies. He's good, in the same way dozens of guitarists are. If anything, the inspired piano parts are more impressive. 'Blunderbuss' does, however, interest me in his back catalogue.
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