The eccentric Jack White is back with his sophomore solo album, Lazaretto, and this might be his biggest album to date. As well as a multi instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and producer, Jack White owns Third Man Records since 2001, where he released Lazaretto and various other releases of his own and other musicians, such as Neil Young. Jack White, with Lazaretto, set a record for most vinyl sold, beating Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy, selling 140,000 copies of the ultra LP. On the LP, White set the bar high as it features two hidden tracks inside the inner label, the song “One More Drink” has two intros, depending on where the needle falls, features all three speeds on the record player, and has a hologram floating above the record on certain songs.
The vocals on this album are classic to Jack White, as there is something distinct about his voice and even with this more of a folksy sound to Lazaretto, the tone in his voice remains the same. Lyrics are partially inspired by poems, short stories, and plays he had written when he was nineteen. However, he reworked the writings instead of throwing them away, which he initially was going to do. White, in “That Black Bat Licorice,” raps his lyrics like a raconteur at a festival, which is very reminiscent to his older work, especially in the White Stripes. The backing vocals in Lazaretto feature women and finely contrasts White’s stark vocals.
Instrumentals on Lazaretto are have a much more folk sound to them as White features the fiddle, mandolin, and the harp. The guitar remains prominent throughout and White maintains his classic sound with it. The fuzzy sounding bass on the title-track, “Lazaretto,” is one of the best things on the track and seems to drive this heavy song and this is one of the strongest tracks on the album especially with the fiddle solo near the end of it.
Jack White returns with Lazaretto and shows that he can play country rock and still have his garage rock tone even with fiddle solos. Having his own way in his song-writing since the White Stripes days, it seems like with this bluesy new album, Jack White is testing his waters on what he is able to do.