Album of the Day is a new venture here at Given and Taken in Ink, in which we feature an album that's worth mentioning despite not being the newest batch of tunes on the street. We didn't go too far back for this first installment, with the #14 pick in GTI's Best Albums of 2012 post. Still, Blunderbuss has been in heavy rotation in my car lately, and since today is the one-year anniversary of its release, it seemed as good a time as any to talk about it. I'm plagiarizing myself, but I'm also fairly sure that no one actually reads the summaries for each album in our year-end lists. So here it is again, in slightly-modified form. Enjoy...
I actually had a tough time getting into Blunderbuss, unlike most of Jack White's band-material. The album contains some of his best songwriting, but avoids some of the musical punch of the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, and the Dead Weather. That's a fairly standard pattern for band-leader-turned-solo-
And while it all sounds great, it's his words that are perhaps most important here. Much of Blunderbuss feels like a kiss-off to the White Stripes (or, specifically, ex-wife/bandmate Meg White), particularly on "Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy." In fact, "kiss-off" might be too strong; more than any other emotion, Blunderbuss reveals White as deeply disappointed. And maybe that's the source of my (personal) hesitance with the record. As rock music goes, extreme emotions play much better - anger, love, joy, despair. But at age 36, White seems to have realized that adulthood is a scam - and for many of us, that's a sentiment that hits just a little too close to home.
Freedom At 21: