From Boarding House Reach, out now on Third Man.
The media narrative for Jack White’s new album is that this is where Mr. Analog ditches the primitive gear and embraces 21st century technology. That involves drum machines, Pro Tools, and — apparently — an Eddie Van Halen “Wolfgang Special” guitar. Alright, so he no longer cares about doing things “the right way, the hard way, the difficult way,” but how does it sound?
It sounds good! It still sounds like Jack White. It’s just a little glitchy, as my videogame-obsessed kid would say. It appears that he’s not utilizing the tech to simplify or “fix” things but rather to fuck it up a bit. Sounds weird but cool. Which has pretty much been his thing all along.
My hunch is that Third Man will immediately follow this up with a live album, recorded direct to tape with no overdubs, not only to satisfy the purists but also to prove that these new songs don’t need the fancy gimmickry of modernity to stand on their own.
From Warsaw in Brooklyn, New York, on March 23, 2018.