Friday, July 13, 2018

Jack White - Lazaretto

White's second solo studio album, Lazaretto, is another convoluted piece of the man's bizarre musical heritage. Lyrically based on writings he did at 19 that he re-worked for the record, it is a musical hodge-podge, with blues (his take on Blind Willie McTell's "Three Women Blues"), hip-hop (the title track), Americana ("Temporary Ground") and much more filtered through White's twisted musical blender.

He admits that the album is varied and that he wasn't trying for a single style, which is pretty obvious here. "Would You Fight For My Love?" is kind of a dramatic 70's-styled rock ballad - maybe something someone like the Sensational Alex Harvey Band would do in their stranger persona - followed by "High Ball Stepper", a riff-y, fuzz-filled instrumental, and the poppy blues-stomper "Just One Drink".

He produces a piano pop-ballad with vaguely classical touches in "Alone In My Home" which continues into "Entitlement", "That Black Bat Licorice" is a mix of Frank Zappa and hip-hop, "I Think I Found the Culprit" is sort of updated-singer-songwriter with more rap-rhythms, and the closer, "Want and Able" is another Jack White-styled piano ballad.

White is nothing if not unique, although his varied tastes can make for uneven records. Even at my ripe old age, I prefer my rockers to rock - in their own odd way - and the numerous ballads here keep it from being a truly strong record, although nothing is objectionable. I know that the fans loved it but I find it good, not great.