Weird, definitely weird.
That would be one way to describe the new concept album, “Boarding House Reach,” by former White Stripes and The Raconteurs frontman Jack White.
White is known for doing things his way, and that way is the old way. White never wanted to use computers or new equipment to record his albums, and that music is what made him different from other musicians.
However, White changed his mind about using technology in the recording studio after a comment made by comedian Chris Rock during his visit to White’s studios at Third Man Records: “Nobody cares.”
Rock meant that once the music was out, nobody cared how it was made. Listeners didn’t care that you used equipment from the turn of the century. They just wanted to hear the music.
White took this to heart and changed his whole attitude about recording. That change in attitude shows in this album.
Four years after the release of his last album “Lazaretto,” White is back at it again, but this time it feels different. The difference is felt right from the start of the album with “Connected by Love,” the first track and the first single released from the album.
“Connected by Love” is a blend between a pop-rock love song and a blues inspired poem, put together with a futuristic beat that works to perfection. That’s how most of this album works, blends of rhythms that White puts together to make something that sounds different and, at the same time, familiar.
Songs like “Corporation,” “Over and Over and Over,” and “Respect Commander” are more traditional sounding White songs, but they still manage to feel fresh and new.
Then there are songs like “Ezmeralda Steals The Show,” “Everything You’ve Ever Learned,” and “Abulia and Akrasia” that are strange and leave you feeling like you don’t know what you just heard, but you still want to hear it again.
“Boarding House Reach” works and has songs that epitomize what White is all about. The weird, strange, cool and mysterious person that he is, can be found on this album.
If you’re a fan of White as an artist, you’ll enjoy this album and will be listening to it all year long. But if you only enjoy White’s music for it’s simplicity, you will most likely not enjoy this smorgasbord of sounds.