The Reviews Are In! What Are Critics Saying About Jack White’s Blunderbuss

Jack White

By Zachary Swickey

There are extremely few artists in the music industry that can be considered living legends at the spry young age of only 36, but Jack White has easily earned such distinction with his guitar prowess and impressive catalog of music with the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, the Dead Weather and now his own solo career.

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White’s solo debut, Blunderbuss, came out earlier this week and is positioned to take the #1 spot on the Billboard charts when the numbers are tallied next week. Clearly, the public is a fan of White’s first offering out on his own, but what have the critics got to say about the album? We rounded up some major reviews of the disc and it appears that White has (unsurprisingly) won the hearts of critics as well. (Billboard and Rolling Stone basically consider it a modern classic.)

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Read on for the reviews!

>>> Rolling Stone: “White has the Midwest con-man reserve of [Don] Draper, along with the flamboyant-yet-unknowable flash of Jagger. So Blunderbuss gets stranger and more fascinating the closer you listen. It doesn’t give up any of the man’s secrets. And make no mistake: That’s exactly how Jack White wants it.” (4.5 out of 5 stars)

>>> Billboard: “Blunderbuss is familiar enough to please the fan base, adventurous enough to forge a new path ahead, and satisfying enough to make fans realize anew just how much we’ve missed Jack’s songs. But perhaps most of all, the album’s diversity and musical ambition show that the White Stripes were as on-message musically as they were sartorially — it wasn’t that Jack White couldn’t write complex songs, he just didn’t, and now that he is, Blunderbuss isn’t just (arguably) the best album of the year so far, it opens up a whole new world for him.”

>>> Pitchfork: “Within White’s oeuvre, Blunderbuss hangs in a kind of limbo– it’s closer to earth than his fantastic White Stripes yet further away than the sometimes-pedestrian Raconteurs or Dead Weather. It’s got some of his best pure songwriting yet, but no earth-cracking riffs. Still, as a treatise on loss and its schizophrenic aftermath, Blunderbuss is a purposeful success.” (7.8 out of 10)

>>> Spin: “Nominal solo debut notwithstanding, Blunderbuss is the sound of a mid-career stride. It’s kind of amazing to think that White was ever lumped in with anything as ephemeral as the millennial return-of-rock phylum: He’s 36 going on 66, the only artist of his generation who can pal around with Dylan and Jagger while still sounding eight steps ahead of artists a decade his junior, and the only one we can say with confidence will have a career with the length and breadth and stature and mythology of his revered elders.” (8 out of 10)

>>> Entertainment Weekly: “There’s a certain Opryland jam-session charm to it all, but Blunderbuss lacks the electric jolt that made previous outfits the White Stripes and the Dead Weather so exciting. Maybe because it’s also missing the awesome battle-of-the-sexes tension between White and his ”sisters” in those groups. He’s right that a modern woman should know her place — and sometimes, that place is right in front of the band.” (B)