• James Booton

Jack White - Musical Genius


Perhaps best known as one half of the white stripes, the Detroit rock legend has been around for nearly 20 years producing album after album of blues rock at the highest quality. After gaining a reputation with the White stripes in the late 90's, achieving critical acclaim for their 2001 debut album , White later flourished, branching out into various other projects. Most notably 'The Raconteurs' in 2006 and 'The Dead Weather' in 2009. Although I could talk endlessly about the plaudits of his earlier work, in my opinion, White waited until 2012 to showcase his musical brilliance with his debut solo album 'Blunderbuss'.

When most people hear the name Jack white, they will think of the electrified performances, singing and playing lead guitar...rather well. This impression is perfectly understandable due to his unique talent to produce so many of the greatest riffs of the past two decades, 'Seven nation army' , 'Lazaretto' , 'Steady as she goes' etc. However people often do not realize White's all round musical talent. Often also recording the drumming and piano for tracks on his solo albums as well as playing a part in the production of his two albums! An artist capable of recording every single element of their tracks ,as well as writing and producing the entire album, has to be commended. So firstly, you can see how much music talent he holds.

However, not only is he an exceptional musician, his creative direction in an even rarer ability. This is best highlighted by his second solo album 'Lazaretto' and the title track's music video. The sensory overload and shear passion poured into the video add a whole different aspect to one of the best modern rock songs around. White fills the video with venomous snakes, shards of broken glass and the revving of a race car, all carrying connotations of power and sharpness, mirroring the tone of an unmistakable Jack White solo. White has produced many an abundance of award nominated videos over the years, such as 'The hardest button to button' , 'I'm shakin' (pictured above) and 'Sixteen Saltiness' .The whole theme of each album gives an additional aspect and makes each album a proper 'Album' like they used to be.

This leads me on to the final reason why Jack White seems to be one of the only remaining artists still in touch with the best of blues, rock and jazz, blending it all into a mouthwatering mix. His desire to have music appreciated like it once was presents fans with a unique opportunity to get lost in each track. When playing live, as well as having the musical ability to play each show with a different band (one all male, and one all female on one of his tours) he plays a different set list each time, believing that it is his duty to give every member a unique experience that no one apart from the audience on the night will have seen . Furthermore , he bans all use of mobile recordings at his gigs, as so every is truly appreciating the music and sends all the audience a full recording of the evening post-show. White is also not a fan of mass downloaded music but believes there is no longer a big enough reason for the consumer to actually purchase. To combat the digital takeover, numerous 'surprises' are hidden on the 'Lazaretto' vinyl such as a hologram of an angel!

I believe due to Jack White's unique talent to be able to play almost every instrument, write riff after riff and create a re-birth of music appreciation , he should be considered one of the best musicians still in practice today!