Do you know what the Golden Rule is? Me either. It has something to do with Algebra. Forget the Golden Rule. Despite what your math teacher says, you don’t need it anyway. I came up with the “White Rule.” It is a well-documented fact that everything Jack White touches turns to gold. The only way I can describe the sound is with a childish allusion. Remember when you were in kindergarten and you took all of the vibrant primary coloured paint and mixed them together in hopes of discovering this spectacular shade? Before your eyes, it turned a dismal brown. Jack White’s solo album Blunderbuss is like that unseen imaginary colour.
Week after week, my eyes were pealed for any sign of Jack White surfacing before his CD hit the shelves. Fighting to keep my eyes open on Saturday, I saw his performance on SNL. The instant hits “Love Interruption” and “Sixteen Saltines” gave a brief glimpse into the labyrinth of the long awaited solo project. A handful of songs including “Missing Pieces” and “Freedom 21,” as well as the previously mentioned singles, have an unmistakable Jack White “sound.” We already know how awesome classic Jack is so I am going to gloss over the obviously great songs on the album. I want to get to the elements of musical exploration and the departure from simple and generic categorization.
I looked up Blunderbuss and it is apparently a type of musket that scatters slugs at close range. I think that accurately describes the listening experience. You are immediately hit with the first four songs that are heavy in the rock anthem vein. As soon as you get to the fifth track, the shrapnel disperses in different directions. Country. Blues. Folk. Boogie Woogie. Swing. Gospel. Jazz. There are elements of everything. The latter half of the album also embraces these genres and openly mixes different sounds. When you look through the CD credits and see session musicians named Fats Kaplin and Pokey LaFarge playing the fiddle, mandolin, and pedal steel you know you are in for something special.
I’ve been listening to this album for two days straight. With each listen I find myself pulled more into the intricacies of each song. Without a doubt, I would recommend this album to anyone willing to open themselves up to new genres…even the fused genres that don’t quite have a name yet. Leave it to Jack to come up with Bolk-untry-oogie-pel. That’s right. It’s officially a genre.