Title : Lazaretto
Artist : Jack White
Genre : Rock
When you are declared by Rolling Stone Magazine that you belong to Top 100 guitarist of all time, there would lots of expectations each time you released an album. Being the lead guitarist of The White Stripes and has performed with other legendary guitarist like Beck, I am not partial listening to this new album of his. Let me run first a track by track review before I give my final judgment.
Three Women –who would have thought that in this age of EDM and rock anthems, Jack White would resort to 60’s like rock; lyrics about indulgence with women and nearly psychedelic sounds that would remind you of Rolling Stones when their music was quite raw in terms of treatment.
Lazaretto – this song reminds you of Give It Away by Red Hot Chilli Peppers. It has somehow more or less drum progression and vocal delivery. You might want to try mashing up this song with that of Anthony Keidis. In the middle of the song though, you might be surprised that it shift to instrumentals which is reminisce of old time rock song. Those days when rock artist are rockstars not pin up boys like what is happening right now.
Watch official video of “Lazaretto” here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qI-95cTMeLM.
Temporary Ground – a musical adventure merging rock and country, will remind you Eagles of long time ago. Mind you the vocals felt like Bob Dylan was singing not Jack White. Lyrically, the song is average what makes it endearing is the additional vocals provided by Olivia Jean.
Would You Fight For My Love – the drum intro would lead you to believe that it might be a song tribute to 80’s. But after the break, the mood changes to wailing vocals like Robert Plant did in “29 Palms.” The guitar riff from the break up to the end of the song will entice listeners to imitate guitar playing without the headbang.
Watch official video of “Would You Fight For My Love” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQOnbp_DspY
High Ball Stepper – with a “Loser” like intro, you are tempted to skip this song. But the infusion of piano will prevent you from skipping this song. Then, you wait for the lyrics to be sung, but what you have are pure instrumental, and you would think that he is indulging himself telling everyone “hey, I am the best rock guitarist right now.”
Just One Drink – when you hear lyrics such as “you drink water, I drink gasoline,” you knew that you are listening to a filler song. Considering that according to some stories that this album was done hurriedly, it cannot be avoided this kind of song is included in this album. It is a neither here nor there song. Just another showcase of his guitar prowess.
Alone In My Home – the kind of song that you will find in a Philip Philips album or Dirk Bentley’s. His arms might be tired thus, he resorted to piano as an accompaniment for this song. It works but, you cannot just imagine him singing this song live in concert. Not the kind of song you expect in this album.
Watch live performance of “Alone In My Home” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkYlZHC22vw
Entitlement – had this been the intro song, you might throw the whole album and avoid listening to it. Putting this song in the middle, would elicit reaction “what the hell this song is doing in here?” Another proof that the album is not as cohesive as you would want to put it.
The Black Bat Licorice – weird title plus reggae inspired melody the song feels like a novelty song. Again, another misplaced song, in what could have been an awesome album.
I Think I Found The Culprit – going on to the last few songs in the whole album, you would have thought that he would recover and realign the album into a good album as indicated in the first five songs. At this point, the piano background becomes irritating.
Watch live performance of “I Think I Found The Culprit” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zoTDgKi0HA.
Want and Able – skip this song, not worth it. The song intro feels like a recording of a scene from the with birdlike vocal in the song intro, you would raised your eyebrow and ask yourself is this is an attempt to create a classic rock song. Unfortunately, he plays the piano again and asking “what to do.”
As a whole, Lazaretto is not a total mess. There are bright moments like High Ball Stepper, Temporary Ground, and Lazaretto. The rest of the song might need some reconfiguration in order to wallop the listener and be mesmerized with his guitar talent. Most of the songs that have guitar as main instrument were just pure technique. It lacks the kind of inner depth, the kind of sound that resonates what the lyrics were imparting. Out of 5 stars, I give this album 3 ½ stars. Still, am looking forward to his next album.
1 star = Ignore it
2 stars= risk it
3 stars = borrow or buy it
4 stars = buy it and keep it
5 = buy, keep, and treasure it