Album of the Week: Jack White, 'Boarding House Reach'

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Jack White, 'Boarding House Reach'
Jack White, 'Boarding House Reach' (Third Man Records)
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Jack White approaches making records like an audio engineer cuts a vinyl master. Each moment is an exercise in trying to recreate an antique. This is why it's no surprise that his new solo album, 'Boarding House Reach,' is getting mixed reviews. The new album was created by the owner of an antique store filled with artifacts you and I can barely identify, and on the new album Jack White moves a step farther from his blues and roots foundations to a more experimental approach to writing songs.

On first listen, White's third solo album is a bewildering mix of sounds and lyrics accompanied by wonderful instrumental detours. It holds true to what you expect from Jack White but contains countless surprises throughout the 13 songs. Sometimes boundless creativity leads to failure for lack of focus or direction. On 'Boarding House Reach' White's well of creative energy is what makes the album work. From the anthemic chanting on "Corporation" to the mix of spoken word and rapping on "Ice Station Zebra," Jack White fails to repeat himself anywhere on the new album, and repetition has been a hallmark of his sound since the White Stripes.

'Boarding House Reach' will most likely lose you on the first listen because of the disorienting variation within and across the songs on the album. Like walking through that antique shop, you'll lose track of time, exploring the items on the shelves White has curated for you. The album is a rich musical discovery that explores the sounds that have been building in Jack White's head. 'Boarding House Reach' sounds like his musical conscious cut straight to tape. If you stick with the album you'll find yourself hitting play again and again.

Jack White's 'Boarding House Reach' is out now on Columbia Records.

Resources


Jack White - Official Site

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