Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Sometimes I Wanda
My love/hate affair with Jack White continues.
WHAT I LOVE
His guitar playing
The White Stripes in concert
Loretta Lynn's "Van Lear Rose"
The way he plays drums
WHAT I HATE
The White Stripes records
All of his scenes in "It Might Get Loud"
The Dead Weather records
That he just about ruined the new Wanda Jackson album
"The Party Ain't Over," the new release from the legendary "Queen Of Rockabilly" Wanda Jackson, starts off with a rousing, kick-ass version of "Shakin' All Over," replete with a horn section that blows with punk vengeance and some menacing guitar-playing from its producer White. Jackson's pixieish voice doesn't sound much different than it did 50 years ago and that's good!
Sounds great, right? Well, it is. Until you get to the 5th song and realize that the damned horn section is on every song. Did Jack White get a good deal? The record is less like the "psychobilly" record I was hoping for, and more like Brian Setzer's Orchestra after a couple of Red Bulls.
I don't blame Miss Jackson. She sounds fantastic. But the record becomes a novelty too quickly. The version of Bob Dylan's "Thunder On The Mountain" is another 5 minutes of hot energy, and the traditional "Dust On The Bible" gets a pseudo-funk arrangement that works, until those farkakte horns show up again, this time sounding like halftime at the Army/Navy game on the latter.
Jack White hit the nail on the head with Loretta Lynn's "Van Lear Rose." It was pure country, with just a subtle touch of cutting edge. On "The Party Ain't Over," he traded in subtlety and turned everything up to eleven. Coulda been a great record if he left it at seven or eight.