Jack White: Lazaretto

Posted June 18, 2014 by in Alternative



4/ 5


Genre: ,
Label: ,
Genre: Garage rock, alt-rock, blues rock
Producer: Jack White
Label: Third Man Recording, XL
Format: Digital download, compact disc, vinyl
Time: 39:13
Release Date: 10 June 2014
Spin This: "High Ball Stepper," "Three Women," "Lazaretto"


Balanced LP expands on loud raucous psychedelic and garage rock


Missing that big hit like Blunderbuss's "Sixteen Saltines"

Blunderbuss follow-up plays like a handsome successor, minus the big hit

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Blunderbuss follow-up plays like a handsome successor, minus the big hit

He might be warring with the Black Keys in the press, but Jack White isn’t faltering on his long-term commitment to music. Since breaking away as the other half of the White Stripes, White has discovered his own artistic slant of alt-rock. On his last episode (Blunderbuss), the former White Stripes morphed into a rock supergod by shelving out instant modern garage rock classics through “Sixteen Saltines” and “Freedom at 21.” Since stepping out on his own, White has modestly shrunk away the White Stripe formula by dipping heavily into loud, ambitious rock. Much of that progressive rock template arises on his second solo LP Lazaretto, but this album feels grungier and insanely psychedelic when compared with Blunderbuss. You can hear it in the bad ass funk of “Three Women” and the vocal reverb of the title cut. The attitude of “Black Bat Licorice” feels like The Doors and the Beastie Boys freestyling together. The inventive blues-rock instrumental “High Ball Stepper,” clearly one of the album’s defining moments, features aged upright piano runs, thunderous drum fills and woozy Hendrix-esque guitar explorations. As if White ate of a Red Hot Chili Pepper, he’s cranking out some of his most raucous material to date. But don’t let that bit of news undermine the conventions of his newfound Tennessee environment. “Just One Drink” rings like a Rolling Stones’ Let It Bleed rocker (“I love you/Honey, won’t you love me”) while “Temporary Ground” blends twangy folk with AM rock. The girl duets are also in heavy rotation, with “Temporary Ground,” “Just One Drink” and the tranquil album finisher “Want and Able” all beefing up the regimen.

The album is a pleasant entertaining collection, worthy of the same praises that set Blunderbuss on a critic’s pedestal. Only thing marring it from those raving gloats is the lack of a big radio rock hit. As good as “High Ball Stepper” and “Three Women” feels, it lacks the crossover glitz of “Sixteen Saltines.” Thanks to the hyped Ultra LP, which comes with hours and hours of entertainment, this diverse set will find its own legend.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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