Jack White has long been one of music's most intriguing characters. He is one of the few musicians capable of garnering equal plaudits from the blogosphere, all the while raking in mainstream chart success - a most uncommon duality. Once the White Stripes' divorce became final last year questions were raised as to White's next moves. After all, he's still in two other bands (The Dead Weather and The Raconteurs) but neither are a singular voice for White's artisanship as The White Stripes were. Fans of the White Stripes, just like any other children of divorce, needed something to fill the gap and Blunderbuss is just that.
Notably, this is the first time that White has had a completely blank canvas to work with while also distancing himself from any expectations that would have come had the words 'Stripes' and 'White' appeared in tandem at the top of the record. In fact, comparisons with anything from White's previous repertoire are few and far between throughout the record. The voice remains but gone is the primitive feel which characterised a lot of White's back catalogue replaced with a more polished deliberate style. Jack being who he is though, numerous songs on the album are framed around the hard-edged blues which earned him his reputation in the first place. 'Sixteen Saltlines' would sound at home on a White Stripes record, while the gorgeous 'Love Interruption' ranks up there with any of White's acoustic ballads.
Blunderbuss is a great record. It goes without saying that any fan of White's will devour this record with glee, but the yet-to-be-converted could do worse than make this record their introduction to all things White. A must listen.