Jack White | Boarding House Reach

4/10
Cool mining.
With the release of his first proper solo album – 2012’s Blunderbuss – Jack White confirmed what we’d known all along; that he was indeed the genius and driving force behind The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and most recently, The Dead Weather.
Possessing post-punk sensibilities and an old bluesman’s soul, White barely put a foot wrong on numerous albums that brought American folk music to the mainstream, knocking out anthems like “Seven Nation Army” and “Steady As She Goes” to name just a couple. Blunderbuss and its vaudevillian follow up Lazaretto both allowed White to show off his solo songwriting chops, but with Boarding House Reach it seems that things have fallen a bit flat.
Lacking sorely in style and flair, everything sounds a bit off here, with unorthodox production and a mish mash of ideas that end up clashing rather than complimenting each other.
Recorded between LA, White’s adopted hometown of Nashville and New York with a new gaggle of session musicians, the overall impression is of a lack of focus. “Why Walk A Dog” ticks along sluggishly – unwelcome synths popping up here and there – while pointless interludes like “Abulia and Akrasia” should be skipped through altogether.
Having a stab at something new should always be applauded, and give White his due – Boarding House Reach – is very much out of his comfort zone, but the sooner he swings back to his previous form the better.
Dan Ashcroft
Like this? Try these:

The Raconteurs Broken Boy Soldiers
White teams up with Brendan Benson & co. for a catchy yet patchy supergroup effort.

The White Stripes Icky Thump
300mph torrential outpour blues courtesy of Jack & Meg.

The White Stripes Icky Thump
300mph torrential outpour blues courtesy of Jack & Meg.

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