JACK White heads to Splendour in The Grass, in Byron Bay, armed with new songs from his first solo CD, Blunderbuss.
The album reflects the many musical efforts that preceded it: There’s the snarly electric guitar he first introduced with the strippeddown White Stripes, the country sound he cultivated in his current hometown in Nashville and in his work with the legendary Loretta Lynn, and the rock energy he whipped up with the Raconteurs and the Dead Weather.
Blunderbuss shows how far the 36-year-old musician-singersongwriter-producer has come since White Stripes first sizzled ears in 1999. The sound here is richer and more layered, with piano or keyboard on every track and even some fiddles and clarinet.
White harmonises with himself and stretches his voice to ever higher octaves, at times evoking Led Zep great Robert Plant.
While White explores various genres and musical stylings, he sticks to familiar themes of betrayal, love and loneliness.
Love Interruption, though musically gentle, stabs with its lyrics.
‘‘I want love to grab my fingers gently, slam them in a doorway and put my face into the ground,’’ White sings atop backup singer Ruby Amanfu’s haunting voice.
‘‘I want love to murder my own mother and take her off to somewhere like hell or up above.’’
A cappella, they sing: ‘‘I want love to walk right up and bite me, grab a
Disney Pictures has wrangled Jack White to compose the score for The Lone Ranger. The studio says the Grammy-winning rocker will write, produce and perform the score for director Gore Verbinski’s adaptation of The Lone Ranger. The Lone Ranger will mark White’s first time scoring a feature film. The film, which stars Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as John Reid, is set to debut in Australian cinemas in May next year. White previously wrote and performed the theme song to the 2008 James Bond film Quantum of Solace with Alicia Keys. hold of me and fight me, leave me on the ground.’’
White split from model-musician Karen Elson, with whom he has two children, last year. Still, Elson sings backup on several Blunderbuss tracks.
White’s not all blue. The bouncy Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy features happy piano and mandolin, while On and On and On is an ethereal musing on life’s direction. Blunderbuss isn’t hard rock, but the blues-infused evolution of its author. The only song White didn’t write on Blunderbuss, I’m Shakin’, may be its most ear-catching. If you aren’t snapping your fingers and bobbing your head to the groovy, honkytonk sound of this Rudy Toombs blues jam, you better see a doctor.
is out now. Jack White plays the sold-out Splendour in The Grass festival, in Byron Bay, from July 27-29.
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Jack White bounces into Splendour with