JACK WHITE
BOARDING HOUSE REACH (DIG)  
 
Item# 19075818932
Released: 3/23/2018
Category: Rock & Pop
Media: Compact Discs
Record Label: SONY MUSIC (SNY)
Price: $15.99   (7 in stock)
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Ever since Jack White closed the book on the White Stripes at the top of the decade, he's taken his solo career into deeper and more expansive areas than he ever explored with his old band. Blunderbuss, from 2012, and 2014's Lazaretto occasionally shifted White's blues-fused garage rock to more modern playing fields. On his third solo LP, Boarding House Reach, he dives in even further.It's not a complete submersion -- the 13 tracks are still tethered to White's past -- but he finds some new shades among the familiar black and white. The opening 'Connected by Love' sets the tone with a wobbly synth ushering in a warehouse of sounds and voices over the next four and half minutes. By the time the female backing singers come in with support, the R&B overtones have bridged the past and present. Written and recorded mostly on vintage equipment while White secluded himself from the outside world, Boarding House Reach is the sound of one of modern rock's most famous curmudgeons embracing the future by doing what he does best: mining the past. Traces of funk, punk, pop, soul, gospel, blues and garage rock tear through the album like they were culled from a crate digger's weekend score. White bends a bit here and there -- this is his most contemporary-leaning album -- but there's no mistaking that Boarding House Reach was made by a guy with Stax, Muddy Waters and Led Zeppelin records in his collection.The most bracing songs -- the R&B scorcher 'Why Walk a Dog?,' the '70s-funk workout 'Corporation,' the hip-hop flex 'Ice Station Zebra,' 'Over and Over and Over,' the closest thing on Boarding House Reach to a classic White Stripes track, and the epic freak out 'Respect Commander,' think Jimi Hendrix dropped into a Radiohead song -- are as playful as anything White has recorded.

   

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