The Dead Weather - Horehound
Record Label: Third Man Records
Release Date: July 14th, 2009
There are some Jack White produced albums that you want to play softly (possibly to avoid Meg White's excruciatingly off drumming).
Then there are some Jack White albums that are only served justice at full volume on your 1000 MegaWatt speakers.
This is one of those albums.
Though nothing will ever replace the nostalgic memories that the White Stripes White Blood Cells provided my childhood, Jack White's third official group, The Dead Weather, is certainly a testament to his undying ability to write music that people want to listen to. Straying from his more simplistic garage band roots, White-- with the assistance of rising star Alison Mosshart from The Kills, Jack Lawrence from White's previous venture The Raconteurs, and expert bassist Jean Fertita from Queens of the Stone Age-- creates a quirky and rough record comparable to early White Stripes, without the bad drumming and with a much clearer and more developed sound.
The first track, "60 Feet Tall" features a slow buildup to an at-times raucous and drum-dominated song, but is successful in establishing the individual talent of the quasi-supergroup's members. In fact, it's no surprise that the drums are such a powerful force throughout most of the album, seeing as in a terribly ironic twist, White indeed is the band's drummer, among other things. The album grows on you as it progresses through the first half, with the heavily distorted and catchy riff in "Hang You From the Heavens," to the almost reggae feel of the third track "Cut Like A Buffalo." The album definitely peaks with the fifth track "Treat Me Like Your Mother," which was a big repeat track for me, and almost entirely makes up for the lull provided by the next four tracks, which aren't by any means bad songs (though "New Pony," a Bob Dylan cover, hardly resembles or matches the excellent original), yet none of them have the stick that the first half of the album provides. The 44-minute album, a vast departure from the 17-song endless record of White's past, finishes with the longest song "Will There Be Enough Water?" much in the same way it began: slowly building. This is not to say it isn't tolerable, though. Rather it is one of the most beautifuly written and musically intricate songs White has written to date, comparable to a folksy version of the White Stripes classic "Ball and Biscuit".
Overall, this record is one that spans more than a handful of genres, from grunge, to jazz, to blues, to plain ol' rock n' roll, and each song is like a mini adventure into a musical era. You really have to commit some time and, at times, patience to get your feet wet with this album, though I think its rewards are more than enough to call it "satisfying". Whatever your opinion, its clear that even after a decade's worth of constant writing and producing, Jack White has not run out of ideas. Yet.
My dad officially thinks this is the worst band of all time, I personally didn't know this was white's band and while watching the woodies I thought they were a wannabe White Stripes. Personally, Jack shouldn't form a side project that trys to sound like The White Stripes and fails on all accounts well at least for me.