New Jack White Album “Lazaretto” Kicks.

Jack White's "Lazaretto".

Jack White’s “Lazaret­to”.

It’s hard to believe that this is only Jack White’s sec­ond solo album. True, the White Stripes only offi­cial­ly dis­band­ed in 2011, but their last album, Icky Thump was way back in 2007.

It’s hard to believe because in the inter­im he seems to have become a one man music mak­ing machine.

There was The Racon­teurs, the band he formed with Bren­dan Ben­son and co. The Dead Weath­er, the one he put togeth­er with Ali­son Mosshart from the Kills and Dean Fer­ti­ta from Queens of The Stone Age. The won­der­ful­ly atmos­pher­ic album Rome, pro­duced by the sim­i­lar­ly ubiq­ui­tous Dan­ger Mouse and Daniele Lup­pi (reviewed ear­li­er here). Plus the small mat­ter of Third Man Records, the record label he formed and runs seem­ing­ly entire­ly on his own.

So far his Nashville stu­dio has played host to Wan­da Jack­son, Lau­ra Mar­ling, Loret­ta Lynn, First Aid Kit (reviewed ear­li­er here), Dri­ve By Truck­ers and Beck as well as pro­duc­ing reis­sues of Char­lie Pat­ton, Blind Willie McTell and Rufus Thomas. Oh, and his crack­ing first solo effort, Blun­der­buss from 2012, reviewed ear­li­er here.

The White Stripes in all their pomp with "Elephant".

The White Stripes in all their pomp with “Ele­phant”.

Lazaret­to his sec­ond is, in the best pos­si­ble sense, a great­est hits com­pi­la­tion of the many dif­fer­ent musi­cal moods and gen­res that he’s drawn to.

There’s the aus­ter­i­ty and rigour of the White Stripes, the more expan­sive and relaxed coun­try rock of the Racon­teurs, and that con­stant pur­suit and explo­ration of the roots and rhythms of his Amer­i­can musi­cal her­itage that’s becom­ing increas­ing­ly cen­tral to every­thing he does.

In this, and in his con­stant rest­less­ness, that sense of being for­ev­er dri­ven to gaze ever fur­ther afield, and ever more deep­er with­in, we final­ly have a musi­cian gen­uine­ly capa­ble of pick­ing up the man­tle of his friend and musi­cal men­tor Bob Dylan.

White’s the real deal. And Lazaret­to, as you’d expect, is gold.

You can see the title track­’s video Lazaret­to here.

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