Lazaretto by Jack White

Jack White | Lazaretto | Rating: 7/11 |

Released: June 10, 2014

Jack White’s second full length solo album, Lazaretto, is the cleanest sound to come from White in almost twenty years. White is well-known for releasing raw eccentric records in the past. Most of the records he produces take less than two weeks to start and finish; Lazaretto took a year and a half to create and this record is not only well mixed but has a well performed reverberation that fans will love. It’s a clean sound that will leave people asking the question, “How good would Jack White’s other records have sounded if he took his time on them too?”

Bands and solo acts aren’t producing records like they would in the past. Instead of giving 20 blues-like rock-n-roll solo sessions, musicians are exploring as many genres as possibly on one record. The results are entertaining and worth the buck. White has accepted this idea with open arms and puts it on display in this record. Lazaretto is the zenith of a blues man, rock-n-roll lover, and country boy.

Title track “Lazaretto” is the first big song off this new record. It is the product of White’s aggressive strums that pulsate through the song. There is a funk like beat that starts the song; then White’s voice swings in with a hip-hop flow to it. The song has been flooding radio airwaves; many who hear it can’t help but wonder if the words are Jack White’s own indigenous dialect – until they read the lyrics, as the lyrical flow is perfect with catchy lines like, “Yo trabajo duro/ como en modera y yeso.” And the ringing fiddles add a nice high pitch to the grunge like sound that plays throughout the song. “Lazaretto” is classic to White’s sound, but also a little something different. It’s a worthy first hit off the record.

Fans don’t typically expect a clean sound throughout the record’s entirety, especially from Jack White, however, “High Ball Stepper” shows that White doesn’t give people what they expect. The song is entirely instrumental. Yes, there is an aggressively distorted guitar that is prevalent in the song, but that’s just the first layer. There are fiddles that kick in; high pitch hooting ringing in the back ground; and a soothing piano. The entire thing wraps up with a blues like solo. The song is cool and will no doubly make people want to hear more instrumental songs in the future.

Overall, the record is a worthwhile purchase. Old school White Strips fans will be interested to check out the track “Just One Drink.” There are also two or three other tracks that stand out as really fun: “Alone In My Home” and “The Black Bat Licorice.” Both songs are a little different but still great to hear from a modernized Jack White.