By: Jason Smith ~Guest Writer~
When Jack White releases new music, it usually is very exciting. His last album Lazaretto was a fine piece of musicianship. His newest collection, Jack White Acoustic Recordings 1998- 2016, showcases the quieter moments in White’s long career, and it largely succeeds in doing so.
Songs from his early days with The White Stripes up until the last EP they recorded with Beck are well represented. The first disc also features “City Lights,” a previously unreleased song, from the Get Behind Me Satan period. “City Lights” is a pretty decent song but would have ruined the near-perfect track listing of Get Behind Me Satan.
The second disc features songs from The Raconteurs’ and Jack White’s solo albums. Notably absent are songs from his other band, The Dead Weather. It is strange, considering during the aforementioned period he recorded three albums with The Dead Weather and yet couldn’t dust off “Will There Be Enough Water” to throw on there.
This collection largely serves as a reminder of the comprehensiveness of Jack White’s many reinventions from fake brother and sister act to solo artist. In between he hung out with Brendan Benson and was a Raconteur. The highlight Raconteurs’ song is “Carolina Drama,” which is now an ethereal bluegrass number.
Jack White Acoustic Recordings suffers from compilation trauma. There’s no narrative thread, so songs are just there to be there.
Thematically, it is a story about an artist who took a year off from touring and song-writing but wanted to put out a new album. That’s really the only story it tells.
This is the Jack White album you can listen to with your parents.