Album Review: Jack White, 'Lazaretto'


jack white lazaretto
'Lazaretto', Jack White's second solo album, releases on June 10, 2014. (© 2014 Columbia Records.)

In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine published David Fricke's list of the 100 greatest guitar players of all time. Ahead of the many rock and blues legends that inspired the music of The White Stripes, the trusted prophet of rock and roll listed Jack White at number 17. The official Rolling Stone list placed White at number 70. If that list was redrafted in 2015, White's spot would undoubtedly be closer to the Fricke list.

Regardless of how you would rank Jack White against his predecessors and contemporaries, his music and impact on independent rock will stand up to the test of time. The short but impressive career of The White Stripes overshadowed White's other musical endeavors up until the release of his debut solo album, Blunderbuss. It's a career step many musicians mishandle and take too lightly. For Jack White, that step was taken with precision and grace. Blunderbuss encapsulated White's strengths as a guitarist who respects the tradition of rock and roll. He is acutely aware that it's all been done before, so borrow and improve on the best.

White's sophomore solo album builds on his already impressive musical talent. Lazaretto is a step away from White's repertoire of guitar riffs and re-imagined blues clichés. Instead, Lazaretto channels the voices, music and instruments White has mastered as a professor of the rock tradition. Without abandoning his signature guitar sound, Lazaretto celebrates the folk, blues and country sounds of White's recently newfound home of Nashville, Tenn. It's evident that his creative efforts to redefine the idea of a boutique label and record store has bled into his musical ambitions. When you listen to Lazaretto, remember that White has become a prolific writer, producer and songwriter. His musical abilities on Lazaretto cast light on his beginnings with The White Stripes and the potential for what in the years ahead.

Have you heard the album? What do you think of it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Related Stories

  • The Chart Show: tUnE-yArDs at #2 makes Black Keys and Jack White beef sandwich The Black Keys are extending their online beef with Jack White to our Chart as they narrowly win the race to the top. Thank goodness Merrill of tUnE-yArDs is in there to keep them separated! The Black Keys have <a href="">released the video for "Fever" and extended their tour</a> which includes <a href="">Target Center on Oct. 24</a> with opening act Jake Bugg. Wherever you are on the planet, they're coming to a town near you soon.
  • The intense pressure of the Voice-o-Graph recording booth The Current's program director, Jim McGuinn, follows in the steps of Neil Young and cuts a vinyl recording in the booth at Third Man Records in Nashville, Tenn.
  • 'Ultra LP' Version Of Jack White's New Album Has Some Crazy Surprises The vinyl version of Jack White's Lazaretto album has three playback speeds, a floating hologram, tracks hidden under the labels and plenty more technological tweaks to the 70-year old format.
  • Bill DeVille's musical postcard from Nashville The Current's Bill DeVille recently visited Nashville, Tenn., to attend the Americana Music Conference &#151; very fitting for the host of <i>United States of Americana</i>! Read about and see photos of Bill's experiences in "Music City."

comments powered by Disqus