Jack White is back – and this time it isn’t with Alicia Keys, Brendan Benson, one of The Kills or Insane Clown Posse. Having helmed The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather since The White Stripes wound down, he’s finally ready to make the breakthrough under his own name.
The album, ‘Blunderbuss’, is out on April 23, and ‘Love Interruption’, the first song on to be released from it, is unleashed this evening (Jan 30) at White’s pay-to-join club Vault and at Jackwhiteiii.com.
So, what’s different? Well, there was always a sense of fun in The Dead Weather and The Raconteurs – you could imagine them all sprinting to the backstage bar to play silly whiskey drinking games as soon as the last guitar squalls of their set had ended. But unless your idea of fun is watching your parents die or getting your fingers chopped off, there’s not much jolliness here.
The theme is love, or rather a bitter take on the expectations of it and Jack utters a variety of macabre phrases – “murder my own mother“, “leave me dying on the ground“, “grab my fingers gently, slam them in a doorway” – among other nasty things. For a man who gleefully held a ‘divorce party’ seven months ago with his ex-wife Karen Elson, it’s a surprisingly vicious stance to take on the ol’ romance thing.
Musically, there’s no trademark JW riffing. The song is rather a drumless, minimalist affair based on the chord progression of The Beta Band’s ‘Dry The Rain’ (inadvertently, I’m sure, although the idea of Jack blazing up a spliff to ‘The Three EPs’ is an awesome), doodling electric piano and an unnamed female vocal echo (or a treated Jack vocal, maybe). The intensity is in the lyrics and its powerful, repetitive chorus.
This is interesting – mainly because this whole release is clearly designed to underline with a big fat marker pen that this is Jack’s serious return. He’s announced it months in advance of the album coming out, whereas he often blasted out The Raconteurs and Dead Weather information with zero warning.
And while the song is coming out on vinyl soon, that traditionalist Jack is happy to usher it in with a digital stream – a phrase that would normally fizz on his face like holy water on the possessed Linda Blair in The Exorcist – to get it to as many people as possible shows how this project is designed to be bigger than anything he’s done since the Stripes.
Even more importantly than this, I’ve heard it three times and I can’t get a second of it out of my head. But what do you think? Stream the track here – Is it a formidable comeback? Do you prefer, er, ‘Hang You From The Heavens’? As ever, get your comment on.