Jack White – Lazaretto
First off, a huge thank you to my lovely wife and our brilliant kids for this Father’s Day gift.
Folks, Jack White is a master. Yesterday, I posted about Blunderbuss. I really, really liked that record. Today, it’s Lazaretto and I am blown away.
Three Women’s funky jazzy intro becomes a slinky rocker about, of course, his three women – “red, blonde and brunette.” Ha. I love the piano part and the slide guitar. Every element of this song works, even the crash ending. It’s epic, this has to be a single.
Lazaretto is the single. I love this song. Love. Everything about it. It’s funky, heavy, playful, busy and bluesy. Yes.
Temporary Ground’s violin intro leads to a laid-back southern country-feel tune with lap steel. Superb duet vocals from Lillie Mae Rische make it perfect.
Would You Fight For My Love? is a piano/drum wonder. So simple, yet stil sweet. When the guitar and band kicks in, it’s a grooving mid-tempo rocker. This man has the knack.
High Ball Stepper had been a teaser track prior to release. It’s a bluesy instrumental with odd accents, like those piano runs. Explosive guitar around 2:00. So cool.
Just One Drink’s honky-tonk rock shuffle is pure bliss. Very Stones-ish, honestly. All it needs is Keef’s guitar jabs. Duet vocals from Ruby Amanfu make the track.
Alone in My Home comes from left field a bit, a piano-driven pop rocker. It’s solid, and has more vocal help from Rische. Without the usual wild guitar from White, it sounds aimed at radio, playing it straight.
Entitlement is a pretty, acoustic country-feel number with mandolin, piano and more lap steel. It even approaches gospel hymn in the vocals. A collision of styles as White chases his influences across the record. Sweet.
You know, if these last two tracks had been tacked onto the end of the record, it’d be a perfect ending. But he’s not done with us yet. Let’s see how he does with the last three tracks…
That Black Bat Licorice is a another epic White stagger rocker that feels like it’s barely keeping itself from going nuts, right down to the violin solo that ends it all. I love it. But sorry, I disagree, Jack. I like black licorice best. More for me, then.
I Think I Found The Culprit has acoustic instruments laid over a shuffling drum beat. It’s country, bluegrass, rock and even a bit of hip hop feel? Piano is a standout, here. I liked it!
And finally, Want And Able starts out with crows cawing, which leads into a beautiful harmony-sung piano track. He makes it sound like a church hymn, even though the lyrics really aren’t that. Yup, never mind what I said earlier. This, too, is a fitting ending. The last three tracks are like an encore.
Holy hell. I thought Blunderbuss was fantastic. Lazaretto is a true companion piece, and even goes several steps better. A masterpiece.