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Published: 2014/07/01
by Ron Hart

Jack White

Third Man-Columbia

So there are a lot of people in the press who had their Fruit of the Looms in a bunch after Jack White had some critical words for the likes of Lana Del Rey, Adele and his perceived mortal enemies The Black Keys, forcing his hand to deliver an apology to all.

But here’s the thing, White is the kind of artist who, at this stage of his career as a musician, has created a body of work that—like Bob Dylan and John Lennon before him— essentially offers him a license to say whatever he wants.

This is the guy behind some of the greatest rock tunes of the last 15 years: “Hotel Yorba.” “Fell In Love With a Girl.” “Seven Nation Army.” “Steady As She Goes.” “Black Math.” “I Cut Like A Buffalo.” Need more be said?

And with his second proper solo album, White continues to stay gold in the reinvention of his distinct brand of songwriting he began to explore on his classic 2012 solo debut Blunderbuss.

One can clearly ascertain Jack’s migration from Detroit to Nashville (where he runs Third Man out of what could only be described as a record shop/studio/living museum for recorded sound) as he evolves from savage blues-punk prodigy to mercurial Southern Gothic gentleman before your very ears on tracks like “Entitlement,” “Want and Able” and “Temporary Ground,” which will particularly appeal to fans of the guitarist’s underrated contributions to the soundtrack for the Academy Award-nominated 2003 Civil War epic Cold Mountain.

Yet for those who chide White for not sounding enough like the White Stripes these days, they can catch a boot full of quintessential Jack stomp on louder numbers like opening cut “Three Women” and the grooving “That Black Cat Licorice.”

Lazaretto is an album for those who can appreciate Jack White’s ever-evolving role as a craftsman of time-defying tunes as much as his ability to kill your mama with his electric guitar.

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