Jack White has often been called “the Willy Wonka of rock and roll” for all of his extraneous styles and innovations in the genre in the past two decades. Last week White released this two-CD album of little bits and pieces of his career. From his break with The White Stripes, samples from his work with The Raconteurs and ultimately his more recent solo work, to form somewhat of an anthology. White is largely known for his harder, amp kickin’ songs like “Seven Nation Army,” “Icky Thump” and the like, but he is a brilliant lyricist and this quality really gets a chance to shine through on these recordings. With his unique voice that has a typically higher range than most male singers without going falsetto, White’s voice tends to get mixed up with the acoustic guitar in quite a few of the songs, taking away from a more balanced piece that would otherwise have more full arrangements of bass and drums.
White has an affinity for many different genres and this album gives a little taste of them all. Folksy romance songs, the blues, saloon style rock, bluegrass and rock ’n’ roll are all found here, whether it is just Jack and his guitar or a full acoustic band with back up singers and all. This record also gives the listeners a bit of a timeline for White and his development over the past eighteen years of his career, you can really hear how his style was influenced and evolved. However, there is a constant among these tracks and that is romance. White sure does love singing songs about heartbreak and women, but this comes as no surprise given his appearance.
This acoustic record is great to have on quietly while studying or spending a relaxing evening with your close friends, or a significant other. Use these tracks at any outdoor gathering for a relaxed yet energetic vibe, also great on walks and hikes. Many people are familiar with his work but just don’t know the artist of the songs. White has a love for the simple and clean, as well as the innovative and complex. Any one is sure to find a track they’ll love on this album.
Overall Rating: 8/10