Former frontman of the White Stripes Jack White is back with his third solo album Boarding House Reach, a great departure from most anything Jack has done.
Aside from leading one of music’s most successful bands of the 2000’s, Jack White has moved onto other music projects. Aside from playing in the Raconteurs and Dead Weather, Jack White started Third Man Records and co-founded Tidal. When he’s not starting bands or businesses he attends to his solo career.
Boarding House Reach is White’s third solo record, his first album Blunderbuss (2012) stepped away from the heavy distorted garage blues of the White Stripes and took a softer folk approach. Lazaretto (2014) was a great improvement, balancing between the hard rock blues mixed with the folk sound from his last album. Boarding House Reach takes the sounds from Blunderbuss and Lazaretto and adds a layer of absolute chaos.
Experimental hardly scratches the surface of what Jack’s trying to create in this new project. The album opens with “Connected By Love,” a bright and soulful ballad that serves as a strong opener. “Corporation” is where the album starts to get weird, a jam-heavy track melds with Jack dictating as if he’s speaking to a military. When he’s not singing he’s screaming at high frequencies that sound identical to an 8-year-old on a roller coaster peeing his pants. “Over and Over and Over” is the album’s safest track, anyone who’s a fan of White’s work will feel the most at home with this one.
Chaos and jamming seem to be the two biggest factors for this album. The remaining tracks are elongated jam sessions cramming organs with distorted guitars, bluzy 1920’s piano, and hip-hop-esque drums. It’s a lot to take in.
The experimentation will turn new listeners away from Boarding House Reach, but that doesn’t make it a bad album. Despite the cramming of sounds, there’s still a distinctive flow to the album that only Jack White can create order through. If you just discovered Jack White’s solo career, you’ll want to start with Lazaretto and proceed from that point, if you want a softer tone, Blunderbuss is a great next step, if you’re interested to see how far Jack can go in creating structured chaos, Boarding House Reach is the album for you.
Recommended If You Like: The White Stripes, Jack White
Recommended Tracks: 7 (Over and Over and Over), 1 (Connected by Love),
Written by Karsan Turner on 04/2/2018