April's Rock Record of the Month - Jack White - Boarding House Reach

April's Rock Record of the Month - Jack White - Boarding House Reach

Over the last 18 years, Jack White has become a household name in Rock and Alternative music. Six records as the White Stripes (1999 - 2007), two records with the Raconteurs (2006, 2008) and three with the Dead Weather (2009, 2010, and 2015). His first solo record was Blunderbuss (2012) followed by 2014's Lazaretto. He also released a double LP Acoustic Recordings 1998 - 2016 which contained unreleased tracks, b-sides and alternate versions of songs from his career catalogue. That album released in the fall of 2016. So, at this point, his career has cultivated a pretty amazing collection of material.

Jack has also been nominated for and received so many awards that it would require its own page to list them all. They range from the American Music Awards and The Grammys to the Country Music Awards. White has been nominated for thirty three Grammys; winning twelve. He has twenty one MTV Award nominations with five wins. That barely scratches the surface but should give you an idea of the amount of critical acclaim he has amassed. He is legendary in his home town of Detroit, and has built an amazing legacy in Nashville with his label Third Man Records.  

Although White has never crossed into Top 40 territory, he has had several hits at Alternative and Triple A Billboard Radio formats.  "Love Interruption" (#12), "I'm Shakin" (#16), "Lazaretto" (#20), and "Just One Drink" (#17) all charted at Billboard Triple A. "Love Interruption (#13), and "Sixteen Saltines" (#12) charted at Billboard Alternative. No chart toppers, but his first two releases topped most of the "End Of Year" album lists for the respective years of their release.

He was lionized as an official rock icon in the 2008 documentary, It Might Get Loud. The film, by Davis Guggenheim, compared the playing styles, recording techniques and the careers (All three peaked in different decades) of The Edge, Jimmy Page, and Jack White. Anyone that didn't see White's genius already was forced to take new measure.  

Boarding House Reach is White's third studio solo release and it's Blind Tiger Record Club's Rock Record of the Month for April. Like Blunderbuss and Lazaretto, House debuted at #1 on Billboard 200. Although he wrote the album in Nashville and recorded some of it there in Third Man Studios, he also recorded at Sear Sound in New York and Capitol Studios in LA. White has described the album himself as "bizarre." White produced the album, wrote the songs, played drums, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, organ, piano, and synthesizer on various tracks along with all the vocals. There's a slew of other musicians tracking the record, but White's presence is everywhere.

White is considered an alternative artist. He has been called everything in-between indie rock and punk blues, but this record feels more closely aligned with Parliament or Funkadelic; with rock blues mixed in. "Over and Over and Over" is a perfect example. It was written in 2005 for the White Stripes. It was shelved and makes its debut on Boarding House Reach. The song has these great blues guitar parts that are surrounded by quirky production effects and chorused vocals that feel almost experimental. "Connected by Love" is another strong song on the album. White is not afraid to stir in all kinds of sounds and styles of music. It makes him hard to peg down. "Connected By Love" is one of the more straight forward, commercial tracks on the record. But songs like "Corporation" and "Hypermisophoniac" have a serious amount of funk and soul mixed into the tracks.

This album needs some time to incubate. The listener needs to have time to absorb all that's going on in this record. We fully anticipate that this album will be in the running for most End Of Year lists. It is different, for sure, but there are some truly ingenious moments on this record and there's nothing else like it out there.

B.T.R.C. - David W. Williams

Boarding House Reach is the B.T.R.C. Rock Record of the Month for April.  Select ROCK to receive this album in your April Subscription Box!
- Side A -
1 Connected By Love Side A
2 Why Walk a Dog?
3 Corporation
4 Abulia and Akrasia
5 Hypermisophoniac
6 Ice Station Zebra
- Side B -
1 Over and Over and Over Side B
2 Everything You've Ever Learned
3 Respect Commander
4 Ezmerelda Steals the Show
5 Get in the Mind Shaft
6 What's Done Is Done
7 Humoresque

What critics are saying about Jack White's Boarding House Reach...

“Hello, welcome to everything you’ve ever learned,” sings Jack White on his first new album in nearly four years. And he’s not kidding. Listening to it is like watching a twisty, multi-part Netflix series; you don’t know where it’s going but you’re transfixed nonetheless.
Hal Horowitz - American Songwriter - Jack White: Boarding House Reach

Jack White seems to be wrestling with the question on Boarding House Reach – a messy, sprawling, daffy, howling set that sounds spiritually hungry, collectively driven and, instructively, a little bit lost. It's his strangest record, but per usual, it shows his continued devotion to rock's dark arts: the tangled cultural roots, "mistake"-enhanced recording traditions, self-righteous fury and fetchingly-deranged megalomania.
Will Hermes - Rolling Stones - Review: Jack White Messes with Identity and Rock History on the Endearingly Weird, Surprisingly Relevant 'Boarding House Reach'

Jack White has finally lost the plot – and he sounds totally brilliant. On his third solo album he’s at last shaken off the bluesy shackles of the White Stripes and has created something wild, mysterious and unlike anything else around. Bravo, Jack. ‘Boarding House Reach’ is a wilfully weird patchwork of New Orleans jazz, rabble-rousing testifying gospel, squelchy chip-tune funk, gameshow jingles, early Bronx hip-hop and the occasional sound of a microwave malfunctioning. Think Tom Waits meets the Beastie Boys and you’re kind of getting there.
Leonie Cooper -NME -  White's third album is a wild, wild ride - and we're fully on board