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Jack White

Blunderbuss (Third Man)

Reviewed by Luke Winkie, Fri., May 11, 2012

Phases & Stages

Jack White

Blunderbuss (Third Man)

"I want love to grab my fingers gently, slam them in the doorway, put my face into the ground," declares Jack White in a butterscotch croon. For a guy defined by stark iconography, media-mystifying biographies, and liquid-hot guitars, his proper solo debut, Blunderbuss, finds the Detroit godhead and onetime savior of rock & roll entering singer-songwriter comedown. For the first time in his life, Jack White's recording songs about John Anthony Gillis. Sure, "Sixteen Saltines" is the marquee cannon-shot burner, but these are predominantly lonely tales, pensive, worn, and wrapped in languid piano. There's no red, white, or black for miles. Now in his 30s, White returns to his childhood loves with moonshine folk ("Blunderbuss"); dusty honky-tonk ("Missing Pieces"); and fire-tempered blues ("I'm Shakin'"). He's written better songs and told better stories, but Blunderbuss lends rare perspective on a man who generally lets image speak for him.

***.5

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