Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sometimes I Wanda

My love/hate affair with Jack White continues.

His guitar playing
The White Stripes in concert
The Raconteurs
Loretta Lynn's "Van Lear Rose"
The way he plays drums

The White Stripes records
All of his scenes in "It Might Get Loud"
The Dead Weather records
His voice
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.


mpjedi2 said...


The Jack white experience, to me, comes down to those scenes in "It Might Get Loud." There's so much honesty from Page and The Edge. You really feel like they're happy to just talk about the instrument and their careers, and be themselves.

Then come Jack white, and every, single scene is an exercise in "mystique" building. He comes off as a giant, fake, ass. Frankly, I liked some of his stuff (White Stripe/Raconteurs/Producing/whatever) before that movie, but I wouldn't call myself a "fan." After? I hate him.

I mean the gall to sit there and play this "I'm a bluesman" fantasy (Yeah, that's your house...sure), while the Edge is turning off all the effects and showing that one of his big riffs is just two chords...It just felt so childish.

I dunno...Sorry for the rant. I know it was totally off topic.

Eric said...

if u saw her performance on letterman, her voice sounded brittle---white played guitar hero, which i liked, and there was a huge band behind her....that seemed to overwhelm her....doris from eastlands

Alan said...

Sal, you're the best. And any music review with the word "farkakte" is okay by me.

Sal Nunziato said...

That was a great rant, mpjedi2. I am so with you.

I did see Letterman and I thought it was awful.

YOU are the best.