When Jack and Meg split up, and not in a literal ex-wife and husband thing that happened years prior to today, but literally as a band, the world mourned The Stripes musical death. Yet the duo’s legacy was intact, and it set Jack up to be a modern music legend. With that said, we can almost consider Jack ’s debut solo album, Blunderbuss, to be a more stripped down Stripes record, considering he was the main contributive force for the group.
Jack most certainly stays close to his roots. Even all his other musical projects, The Dead Weather being one of the most notable, we hear that tinge of blues-infused rock. So now we have Jack in 2012. Slightly older, slightly more jaded, yet finally in an environment to completely control all facets of his musical forwardness.
Blunderbuss contains all the Jack clichés. The guitar-focused lead, his 60′s garage rock basis, and his signature voice, naturally. The record remains flamboyantly Jack , interwoven with violins and harps to offer a distinctive 70′s country vibe, and sometimes taken to a more blues-derived signature style.
One of Blunderbuss’ strongest songs is Sixteen Saltines, a rocking little number that has Jack claiming jealousy and sexual promiscuity over a thundering guitar riff and just less than three minutes of sheer “awesome.”
Love Interruption is a fun little track musically, but lyrically it offers something a bit more decisive. Jack seems disappointed, nay, almost misogynistic towards woman of the modern era. True, his heart may have been hurt on more than one occasion, but there is a clear thread of love lost and love foregone coursing through the record. And though it isn’t necessarily a poor way to go, it does seem a little like Jack – Unrated and Unrestrained where his influences are left to their own devices. Trash Tongue Talker takes this almost too literal. You feel like he may as well call out names and write an autobiography about his history with angry woman. The song being average is beside the point. Machine Gun Silhouette is another very stylistic song, but lacks the strong hook of other tracks and seems to be forced forward by its violin section as opposed to anything on ’s behalf.
Blunderbuss is coursing with Jack idioms, female frustrations, and blitzy 60′s rock flair. Yet through it all, it doesn’t feel like it will hold up over time. The songs are distinctively fun and distinctively dated, but that doesn’t make for anything like a great album- just a prototypical and arguably great Jack album.
Image Source, Jack Blunderbuss Album Cover, 2012