July 20, 2012

In stores

Fly Over: ‘Blunderbuss’

Jack White

by Macario Mora

Every generation has musicians who make such a significant contribution to their art form that they become classics – the music will timelessly reverberate from the headphones of youths, failed musicians and all music lovers for generations to come.

The 60s had more than most with the Beatles (enough said), Jimi Hendrix (the guitar hero), Bob Dylan (the great American poet) and so forth. The ’90s were fortunate as well, with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, others from the anguished grunge-rock era and for some the rise of Hip Hop. This generation hasn’t been so fortunate.

Much like the ’80s, (don’t tell your parents or senior NCOs, let them reminisce about tight, neon-colored clothing, male makeup, hairspray and their eras’ thinly talented musicians – they were “trend setters”) this generation is cursed with similarly sounding bands that are difficult to differentiate because they look, act and sound alike.

The MTV generation has traded in talent for manufactured tunes, talentless beauty queens and aesthetically pleasing boy bands – to include the pop-punk, emo genre. No longer are musicians defined by what we hear, but what they look like.

But, even the ’80s had Metallica and Jane’s Addiction – to name a couple. This generation has its saviors as well, most notably – Jack White.

The White Stripes, White and his fictional sister (ex-wife) Meg, first hit the mainstream airwaves with “Fell in Love with a Girl,” from their third studio album “White Blood Cells.”

Recently, White released his much anticipated first solo album “Blunderbuss,” and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Though the album isn’t quite on the same level as “Elephant” — the White Stripes ground-breaking 2003 album, which is ridiculously good — it’s quite amazing.

White is easily one of the top present-day guitarists, and it’s evident throughout the album. However, it’s his anguished and thoughtful lyrics that propel this album to the top of my 2012 list. In “Love Interruption,” White vividly describes the torment of going through a divorce, which he recently did, and captures the emotional toll that a failed relationship has on the body and psyche.

The Detroit native is famous for producing albums in less than a few weeks and using equipment older than him. His less than ordinary approach has produced some of the new millennium’s best albums.

This one is no different.

The twangy, bluesy guitar mixed with White’s unique vocals and experienced lyrics form something — different, which in itself is a relief from the top 40 bands blaring through the radio.

Often you’ll hear a song on the radio and buy the album, only later you’re disappointed because the song was the only thing worth listening to.

Not “Blunderbuss.”

All the songs on the album smoothly blend together giving the listener something similar to an audio book in that each song is a chapter in an amazing albeit depressing story, which is high-lighted by “Trash Tongue Talker,” a unique blend of Midwestern upbringing influenced by southern Blues – something only Jack White and The Black Keys can successfully pull off.

I haven’t been able to listen to the song any less than 20 times a day since I bought the album a couple of weeks ago. The song itself is an exceptional story that White tells with his most distinctive voice. It’s the perfect highlight to an album full of memorable songs that gets better with every listen.

If you’re at all interested in good music and not just what MTV tells you to listen to, then this album and anything White’s ever touched is worth gold or rather platinum.

About the Author

Macario Mora
Macario Mora believes there are two types of movies — those that are intellectually stimulating and those that were made for pure entertainment value. His favorite movie is “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” directed by Michel Gondry and written by Charlie Kaufman. Gondry and Kaufman are also his favorite director and writer.

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