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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As a stand alone project, it's one of his best and most eclectic...
Once again Jack White, lover of blues, funk, soul, and good old fashioned rock and roll, has dipped into his bag of inventiveness and has created an album more eclectic than his 2012 release "Blunderbuss." It's taken him a year and a half to make it, and if the rumors are true it is said he destroyed the original versions and started from scratch.

In...
Published 1 month ago by John J. Martinez

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not his best work, Blunderbuss was better
Not his best work, Blunderbuss was better
Published 8 days ago by Haydn Blower


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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As a stand alone project, it's one of his best and most eclectic..., 10 Jun 2014
By 
John J. Martinez (Chicago, Illinois, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lazaretto (Audio CD)
Once again Jack White, lover of blues, funk, soul, and good old fashioned rock and roll, has dipped into his bag of inventiveness and has created an album more eclectic than his 2012 release "Blunderbuss." It's taken him a year and a half to make it, and if the rumors are true it is said he destroyed the original versions and started from scratch.

In interviews he has said the lyrics were inspired by old stories and writings from his 13 year old self. He said some of it was laughable, but I listened, because... it's who he is and not what he does, at least not that much. He's a truly independent artist, and rarely asks for anyone's help, unless he's recording in digital, which is NOT what he does. You DO know Jack records strictly in analog (on two old 8-track recorders), because "it just sounds more real."

Here's my 30 second gut review of each song - the album is only 39 minutes long...

01 - Three Women - 1972 called but is FINE with you re-creating their sound, fuzzy guitars and dirty soul organ grinding and all, about his love for the number one subject of every rock and roll teen boy playing his guitar - times three!

02 - Lazaretto - I like this song, not just because it's an instant guitar player's classic, but the music and lyrics are top notch and reminds us why we like Jack and his unique sound - he's everywhere on this single and it shows. From Catholic rites to Jack Chick religious tracts and several philosophers, he circles the globe in your mind.

03 - Temporary Ground - this duet with Nashville artist Lillie Mae Rische (who also play a little fiddle) takes you on a ride around the block to the country side of his world, and it's it's pretty good.

04 - Would You Fight For My Love - channeling his best Neil Young, he weaves a wonderful tale of love - and asking her to fight for it. Guitars play out his pain in this wonderful low-key stunner.

05 - High Stepper Ball - this song - an amazing bit of instrumental riffing - was our first taste of the album to come, and I have to say it again - the grinding guitars are amazing. I really do dare anyone around his age to create this kind of virtuosity and sell it like only Jack can.

06 - Just One Drink - this reminds me so much of some 1973 Rolling Stones stuff, a lost track from the "Exile on Main Street" sessions. Simply great.

07 - Alone In My Home - (the beginning sounded so familiar, then it caught me - "Romeo's Tune" by Steve Forbert, 1979. 1979???) Another duet with Rische, and you can feel the wonderful analog-ness along with the great lyrics. He's almost daring the listener to understand him as he fades away...

08 - That Black Licorice Bat - vocalist Ruby Amanfu (from his all-female backup band The Peacocks) helps through his vocal attack on this hands-down rocker, and Jack has stated as much on NPR that it was "I really put in the album of my own personality".

09 - Entitlement - his deep Catholic background is present here, a song about paying Caesar what is due, paying pennance, apathy, and "being tired of being told what to do." It's like a really really ironic country-rock version of "Killing in the Name" by Rage Against The Machine. Strange, but very truthful. Will the message get through?

10 - I Think I Found The Culprit - with the six-string of Dean Fertita present and almost dominating the song, Jack takes us once again into his flighty world as his mirror is reflected towards his overall self - and the guilt that he's taking away by looking too long. Are the "birds of a feather" lyrics refrencing himself? Only the piano knows.

11 - Want And Able - Speaking of birds... this song is a complete Jack White production, dubbing and singing and all of it. This is part two of a "song trilogy," part one being the song "Effect and Cause" from his 2007 White Stripes album "Icky Thump." From the lyrics, it's biblical in tone, being this time the forces of good and bad at war with even themselves, represented by Cain and Able... I mean, Want and Able. It plays like a light bit of fluff, but the odd serousness and playfulness only shows Jack refusing to submit to his demons or his needs or happiness.

(on the wax album, there is a TON of extras - b-sides, hidden tracks, hidden speeds, and more. Maybe that's why it's selling for so almost thirty dollars?)

In the end, I have to give this inventive, creative, indulgent yet spirited production 5 heathly stars.

You've got to pick up a copy of this, really. Jack White is one of the more subtle (but also at the same time overt) leaders in alternative music today, and he re-invents himself with every new record with more and more audio tricks on every track. Not very many can do that but still stay SERIOUSLY grounded to who he is - a rocker with a conscience, and an obvious dual genius method/guilt complex that would bring down an elephant.

Pick up your copy today, and enjoy!

(thanks for reading, and please don't forget to vote whether you like what I wrote or not - and don't forget to check out my other reviews right here on Amazon!)
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars VINYL REVIEW - interesting album, but novelties are flawed., 12 Jun 2014
This review is from: Lazaretto [VINYL] (Vinyl)
I didn't buy this as a fan of Jack White's music (I'm not in general) but because of the bells, whistles and general kitchen sink of novelties that this vinyl pressing has had thrown at it.

As it turns out I do like the album, and I may grow to like it a lot. There is variety, yet consistency too. Some of the lyrics are religiously controversial/arguably disrespectful, which some may find offensive or hard to stomach. But how are the quirks that the vinyl offered?

THE NOVELTIES:

Side 1 is cut inside to out, and has enough distance from the end of the side so that those with an auto player should still be able place the stylus without kicking the auto return into gear. What is a little frustrating is that the first track has no lead in groove, so it is hard to get the very beginning of the track. If you are able, you may find the best route is to get the stylus in the groove and gently rotate backwards to cue up the beginning of the track.

Instead of inner groove there is a moving hologram, which can be hard to see in normal daylight. I was able to see the upside down angel by shining the lamp on my mobile phone at the area, the correct way up one was harder - strangely it was easier to see on the display of my phone than on the record. The hologram area looks like a randomly cut/damaged by misshandling mass squiggly groove(s) until lit up correctly. Clever.

The last track on side 1 has some oomph in it, so is well placed to finish on the outside of the record. The locked groove is nothing special or particularly musical - a guitar whine, which in just a few rotations was sounding very worn on my copy. (Tracking at around 1.4 g.)

Label track - VERY noisey - and plays at 78 rpm on this side - don't use an expensive stylus to play. It's an approx 39 second song from the view of a drug pusher (Pusher Man) with bass, drums, guitar, vocals. It plays outside to in, rather than inside to out like the rest of the side.

Side 1 on my copy (and likely yours too) was pressed off centre - and was enough to be audible.

Side 2 (also pressed off centre although not quite as badly) has a double grooved intro to the first track. I figured it must be difficult to get the intros to converge at the same time, and wondered if they'd cheat by cutting the track double grooved all the way through, and the converging at the gap at the end of the track. They didn't cheat, but it doesn't quite work. The acoustic intro plays right through and appears to be the complete track. The electric intro repeats a word as it converges ("just - just") and it was clear to hear the groove join. How the cutting engineer (Bob Ludwig?) managed to get it that close though is pretty impressive! The acoustic intro outer groove is already noisey after two or three plays.

Locked groove on side 2 - impersonated bird noises.

Label track - plays at 45 rpm, is approx 51 seconds long, and is a child reciting Brahms' Lullaby and then singing a bit of Away in a Manger. Cute - and fits with the huge amount of surface noise from the record label.

The hype has said the album was cut with no added compression, do not take this to mean that the recording has no compression applied at any stage - as it clearly has, and plenty of it. Don't listen if you've got a headache.

THE DOWNLOAD:
You only get one chance to access the page to get the files, so be careful! The download appears to be of the CD version. The running order is very slightly different - Entitlement and That Black Licorice are switched. The burst of guitar on the locked groove at the end/beginning of side 1 can be heard once at the end of track 5. Just One Drink has the electric intro, but plays through without the wonky join that is heard on the vinyl. Want And Able does not have the burst of bird noise for the locked groove at the end. The label tracks are not included.

So in conclusion - an interesting and entertaining album, but you may be disappointed with the bells and whistles. They're still pretty cool though!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eclectic, eccentric brilliance., 11 Jun 2014
By 
A. Sweeney "I don't care what you call me" (Brighton, East Sussex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lazaretto (Audio CD)
I’ve been a fan of Jack White’s music pretty much from when the rest of the world discovered his talent, after The White Stripes’ “White Blood Cells” was released back in 2001, and have followed his largely impressive career closely ever since, so any new album is always something I look forward to. White started working on the follow-up to 2012’s excellent “Blunderbuss” whilst he was touring his first solo album, taking the inspiration for many of the songs from short stories and plays he wrote when he was a teenager, despite the ridiculous nature of some of them. With a large and varied cast of musicians, “Lazaretto” is a full-sounding album and, although this is an unmistakeably Jack White release, it feels more like the product of a band, rather than the stripped-down sound that was the trademark of most of The White Stripes’ work. Strangely enough, it starts off a little shakily, with White bragging over a bluesy riff played on guitar and organ that he has “Three Women” on the go and the chorus of “Lordy, lord!” repeated over and over again doesn’t help endear it to this listener either. It’s a shame the lyrics are so puerile, because the music behind it is actually quite good; it’s just difficult to switch off from the lyrics and enjoy it on a surface level.

The title track and lead single “Lazaretto” is also a fairly standard blues-riff-based Jack White track and, although thoroughly decent, is an odd choice to promote the album as it’s the sort of thing you’ve heard several times from him before. You could be forgiven, at this point, for thinking the album isn’t going to be anything special. Thankfully, you’d be wrong, as it all gets a whole lot better from then on, with the soulful country leanings of “Temporary Ground”, a duet with Lillie Mae Rische (who also plays a tasty bit of violin) providing the first truly interesting composition of the album. “Would You Fight For My Love” turns the heat up a fraction, with an intense, dramatic introduction leading to a slow-burning, passionate verse that simply explodes into the organ-soaked chorus. The first track to be leaked from the album was “High Ball Stepper”, a raw, dirty instrumental featuring a plethora of guitar sounds which is nigh on impossible to dislike. White channels late sixties/early seventies Rolling Stones on “Just One Drink”, lyrics and all (“You drink water/I drink gasoline/one of us is happy/one of us is mean/I love you/but honey why don’t you love me?”), and this silly, boozy rocker with a touch of country fiddle is a genuine pleasure.

One of my very favourite cuts on the album is “Alone In My Home” which opens with instantly gratifying tumbling, rolling piano. It’s not really like anything else Jack has ever released; it’s bouncy, extremely melodic, almost McCartney-esque and absolutely brilliant. “Entitlement” sees White back in country mode and, whilst a perfectly lovely song, provides the one and only mid-album lull in quality. The sizzling “That Black Bat Licorice” brings the hard riffing back with aplomb, and is reminiscent of his work with The Dead Weather. The grandiose, atmospheric “I Think I Found The Culprit”, on the other hand, could be the soundtrack to a modern western and it builds up to a classy, satisfying climax. The album comes to a close with the charming “Want and Able”, which sounds more like The White Stripes than anything else on the album, albeit one of their more whimsical pieces from later on in the band’s career. It’s a fitting bookend to a wonderfully diverse, creative collection of songs and a more than worthy solo follow-up to the high bar set by “Blunderbuss”. White’s astonishing eccentric musical mind, analogue-loving quirks and all, has resulted in yet another album that fans will find difficult to criticise. I’m not going to go so far to claim that it is the greatest point in his career so far, but it’s certainly up amongst his best work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant album., 15 July 2014
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This review is from: Lazaretto (Audio CD)
Jack White is an extremly talented musician and this album does not dissapoint it is an excellent follow up to Blunderbuss.
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5.0 out of 5 stars lazaretto, 14 July 2014
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This review is from: Lazaretto (Audio CD)
strange and wonderful 10/10
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 14 July 2014
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This review is from: Lazaretto (Audio CD)
not quite as good as Blunderbuss but good
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5.0 out of 5 stars you just get better: ), 14 July 2014
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This review is from: Lazaretto (Audio CD)
Jack ! you just get better : )
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 14 July 2014
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This review is from: Lazaretto [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Perfect.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 13 July 2014
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Mr. James S. Edmondson (u.k.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lazaretto (Audio CD)
not long since blunderbuss but quality still up there.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 11 July 2014
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This review is from: Lazaretto (Audio CD)
Great stuff. Jack White on top form.
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Lazaretto [VINYL]
Lazaretto [VINYL] by Jack White (Vinyl - 2014)
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