Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Music: Jack White – Love Interruption

Jack White is living the rock n roll dream, and I think he’d admit that all day long. My affinity for Jack has more to do with the man himself than his music because, in short, I think he’s a pretty cool guy, and from local ramblings about town, a very nice, humble one at that. (So I officially apologize for calling him a “goth dufus” basically to his face outside the Green Hills 16 Theater in 2006. In my defense, I didn’t realize it was him, but you shoulda seen what he had on…)

In our family, Karla is the big White Stripes fan, and I don’t want to say rabidly so, but she’s definitely willing to pet the dog that’s foaming at the mouth. I could tell you about the time she literally nearly died at one of their shows because she was too dedicated (stubborn) a fan to give up her stage-side status, but I pretty much just did, so…

As for me, I respect the White Stripes, but have for the most part been a passive participant in listening to their music whenever Karla picked up a new release and played it (repeatedly). Having said that, and especially after seeing them in a live setting, it’s amazing how big a two piece can be, especially one that approaches music from a minimalist standpoint. This is most evident on their last couple of albums, where the studio itself became a bit of a third member, with Get Behind Me Satan being the one I will put on myself when in a White Stripes mood.

Around the White Stripes’ schedule Jack has also managed to chalk up a slew of additional credits in various bands and production duties and even a bit of acting, most all receiving widespread acclaim, and certainly all further expanding the living legend that was and continues to be, Jack White. And again, in my family, his secondary groups are passive listens for us, with Karla leaning more towards The Raconteurs (whom I find a bit tedious) and me towards The Dead Weather (whom I also find a bit tedious).

But now, the pin up boy of DIY indie rock is about to come out with a solo album, Blunderbuss, and since I like the man himself more than the groups he fronts/backs, I couldn’t be more interested. In my opinion, a solo album frees up Jack to do and be whatever it is he wishes without the “confines” of whatever group he’s currently manning – which is saying something as all previously mentioned groups went pretty much wherever they wanted. And while all have that certain JW-esque sound, they were also broken down into little subgroups that were more blues or rock or goth or whatever.

So, anyway, Third Man has released the first single, Love Interruption, which has been doubtlessly zooming through the speakers of hip rockers ever since. I’ve gotten a chance to give it a few clicks (you know, as opposed to spins), and I really enjoy it. Musically it’s got a dark, Appalachian feel, and lyrically it’s a request of love to, in short, mess up the singer’s life, brutally. And, as always, I’m amazed by the fullness of Jack’s minimalist approach, as there is little more than acoustic guitar, keys and a (unknown) female co-vocal, and yet it fills up the room with eerie majesty.

It’s a powerful song, one that lingers in your head as more than a melody, but a sensation, disturbing but not unpleasantly so.

Naturally this gets my ears primed for the rest of the album, which in my mind could be more of the same or roam all over the place, but I have no doubts that wherever it goes, it’s bound to be cohesive, inspired and at the end of the day, enjoyable. And if not, Love Interruption is a heck of a single anyway.

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