Discover: “Blunderbuss”

As the music industry has evolved into something where music is so accessible, I – and the rest of the world – always have the thought in the back of my head, “What will future generations think of all this?”. If there is one thing I can be sure of, it is that Jack White will be marked as the guitar god of our generation. At a time where literally thousands of artists are at the edge of our fingertips, Jack White’s musical style translates to a wide audience and has weathered some years with The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, and now his solo project. Blunderbuss is a restoration in faith of the rock that we have learned to love with Jack.

Popping Blunderbuss in, I was skeptical. Jack has so much going on right now with his record company, Third Man Records, and I just wasn’t sure if he would have the energy to make as cutting of an album that I had attached to in the past. But without a doubt, while Jack was enriching others’ music, he was crafting together a classic of his own.

Blunderbuss opens with an instant image of what we could expect from Jack from now on. A year after his beloved band The White Stripes announced their official break, Jack stands rocking strong on his own. “Missing Pieces” is the control Jack uses to portray the recklessness. His steady blues and his signature stringy guitar solo pieces together to dig us into a deep obsession from the top. This is one thing that can be appreciated about the album; it is a continuation of the direct themes and pleasing instrumentals that were always used all along the way to tell Jack’s story.

Although Blunderbuss is a solid classic, it is the single “Sixteen Saltines” that really pushes the faith in Jack White. The alternating crunchy guitars with the swift breaks of silence, Jack’s scream, and the solid rhythm of cymbal crashes is enough to blow some car stereos and reinforce some excitement in the art of rock music. The rolling lyrics over the screeching guitar is just what has been missed with all of the new styles we get the chance to experience today. Not many can still strand together some simple hard-hitting guitar riffs and a crashing beat to create a rock song that just rules. Nothing stands out more than the way “Sixteen Saltines” offers everything with such simplicity.

Jack White packs everything in with minimalism. The act that this album is named after a firearm is appropriate. Blunderbuss gives it to you clear and straight. When Jack professes the lyrics of the title track, he breaks everything down to the pure spirit of his music. He sings of the sorrow and the strength he is searching for in love. If anything, Blunderbuss is an opportunity to see some good in all of the awful we feel, the hope in keeping true to what we love even though it has been twisted into something a little different along the way.

By Lauren Moquin

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Emerson College

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