Jack White releases experimental album with classic rock roots


This cover image released by Third Man Records shows "Boarding House Reach," a release by Jack White. (Third Man Records via AP)

This cover image released by Third Man Records shows “Boarding House Reach,” a release by Jack White. (Third Man Records via AP)

Jack White released his new album “Boarding House Reach” on March 23, an experimental piece that still maintains many classic rock elements.

The album starts off on a more traditional note and progresses into a more experimental and futuristic sound. The first track, entitled “Connected By Love,” is a fairly traditional rock song with a good beat and catchy chorus. “Why Walk a Dog?” has a slower and more sultry beat but still maintains a classic rock spirit with traditional elements, such as the big electric guitar solo in the middle of the piece.

“Corporation,” is much more experimental than the first two songs. “Corporation” has a long instrumental opening and plays more as a spoken word piece rather than a traditional song. This spoken word motif continues with the fourth track “Abulia and Akrasia,” which features spoken poetry set to a lamenting violin and piano score. The wide variety of instruments used throughout the album is one of the reasons why “Boarding House Reach” is so unique.

“Ice Station Zebra” is another track that deviates from the traditional rock sphere. The song has a driving beat and an eclectic use of instruments. Rather than traditional singing or spoken word, this track features a more rap-style sound with a beat change about midway through the song.

The album reaches peak avant-gardism with the tracks “Everything You’ve Ever Learned” and “Respect Commander.” Both of these songs use futuristic and experimental noises in addition to a mix of both spoken word and classic singing. The track “Get in the Mind Shaft” also has a futuristic vibe. After a spoken word introduction, the song segues into Daft Punk-esque singing and electronic beats.

The last two songs on the album go back to the more traditional tones of the beginning of the “Boarding House Reach.” “What’s Done is Done” is a slower, ballad style song. The very last track on the album, entitled “Humoresque,” is extremely gentle, especially in relation to some of the more loaded experimental pieces. It sounds like a lullaby, ending the album on a soothing, quiet note.

This is White’s first solo release since his 2014 album “Lazaretto.” White is promoting this new album through the festival circuit this summer, as he’s headlining Boston Calling in Boston and The Governor’s Ball in New York City.

While the album was certainly innovative, some of the more avant-garde songs were not the most pleasant to listen to because of the sometimes nearly grating noises that created the futuristic sensation.

Overall, “Boarding House Reach” is most certainly a listening experience. Although not every song can stand on its own, one can appreciate the artistry and innovation of the album. From the mix of genres to instruments to styles, White creates an eclectic and experimental work through his newest release.

Rating: 3/5

Lucie Turkel is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at lucie.turkel@uconn.edu.

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