White can breathe a sigh of relief now that his new album has made the grade.
Jack White's latest solo album Lazaretto is now available to buy, after having streamed in full via iTunes. Named after a hospital or ship that quarantines people affected with contagious diseases, the album's title could be interpreted as a wry reference to the bad press White has attracted recently.
White felt compelled to apologise to everyone he had upset with his sharp words so the negative attention wouldn't overshadow his eagerly-awaited follow-up to 2012's Blunderbuss. Though anger is apparent on the new LP, it would be a waste of time to mutter on about the artist's behaviour instead of dissecting one of the year's most arresting releases.
Critics agree: Lazaretto is "a wilder and harder work than White's solo debut from two years ago," says the NY Daily News. While NME prefers to draw comparisons between the two, excitedly describing the new record as "a second solo album that's as musically eccentric and original as its predecessor"
Contact Music's own Rich Cline picks out 'Three Women' as one of the album's highlights, saying that it "is an incredibly danceable song upping the giddiness for the rest of the album with upbeat piano parts that are just as exciting as any of the riffs or guitar solos on the track."
"Some of the electric numbers here, like "Just One Drink", are relatively subdued, while acoustic-oriented songs like "I Think I Found the Culprit" get beefed up eventually," adds Consequence of Sound. "White has long since proven his producer's touch when it comes to delicate music, and that skilfulness continues to pay dividends for him."
"The album is something of a radical musical departure for White," according to The Guardian's Alexis Petridis, who adds that the music "sounds dense, to the point of occasionally seeming cluttered and a little messy."
White presents "a deranged cocktail of screeching electronics, downhome fiddle and gloriously OTT guitar showboating with a deeply odd, episodic structure and an audible hip-hop influence in his vocal delivery."
"The things that are good about Lazaretto are pretty much the same things that are good about every album White has made," he continues, describing the "great, crushing riffs, as found on the title track and High Ball Stepper; strategic deployment of his patented yowling, edge-of-panic vocal style; the presence of a distaff musical foil [Ruby Amanfu]."
Jack White's Lazaretto is out now.
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