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Jack White - Fear of the Dawn Music Album Reviews

Jack White - Fear of the Dawn Music Album Reviews
On his first of two solo albums planned for this year, Jack White earns his eccentricity. An illogical fusion of blues-rock and carnival prog, this music is genuinely, imaginatively weird.

Even when Jack White is the only credited musician on Fear of the Dawn, it sounds like there are six of him. Aside from the absence of Meg White, nothing has separated White’s solo projects from his work with the White Stripes more than his embrace of overdubs, which has ballooned his once streamlined garage-rock into ever bulkier, more cartoonish iterations of itself. Excess has become White’s driving muse, and he’s never piled it on thicker than he does on Fear of the Dawn, a chaotic, illogical fusion of blues-rock and carnival prog that contains some of the most outlandish stylistic experiments of his career.

White has already made an album as indulgent as this, and it was awful. Inspired in part by the skronkiest corners of Prince and Sly and the Family Stone’s discographies, 2018’s Boarding House Reach was far and away his worst record because it neglected everything that made his best music so immediate–the brute-force riffs, the effortless ditties he materialized as if pulling them from some forgotten public domain. Every Jack White album sounds like he’s winging it to some degree, but Boarding House Reach was the first that felt like he was writing around a total absence of songs.

The first of two LPs White has planned for 2022, Fear of the Dawn doesn’t completely correct that problem. Too often, White still sounds more interested in vamping than in writing something catchy to vamp over. But his first solo record in four years distinguishes itself through sheer commitment to the bit, as well as White’s most unrepentantly heavy set of songs since 2007’s Icky Thump. The raging opener “Taking Me Back” debuted last fall alongside a trailer for a new Call of Duty game, White’s fuck-shit-up guitars an apt soundtrack to the game’s numbing montage of bullet spray, flamethrowers, and explosions. It’s pure meathead music, and White matches its spite with some fittingly nasty lyrics, the latest in his long line of bracing songs about divorce and pipe dreams of reconciliation. “Are you taking me back?” he sneers when an ex drops off some mail, as if trying to force the very answer he doesn’t want to hear.

At times, Fear of the Dawn conjures nu-metal, with all the peculiarities that tag can carry. With its thrashing guitars and go-go shimmy, “The White Raven” imagines Rob Zombie scoring a remake of a Gidget beach party movie. Elsewhere, White shout-raps his way through the brusque rocker “What’s the Trick,” one of several songs where he slashes at his guitar like it’s a set of turntables, almost Tom Morello-esque, even as he disregards Rage Against the Machine’s famous mantra of “no samples, keyboards, or synthesizers.” All three are slathered over the record, often to surrealist effect.

“Hi-De-Ho” samples Cab Calloway’s “Hi-De-Ho Man,” stretching and looping Calloway’s famed chant until it almost becomes a bizarro parallel of Megan Thee Stallion’s “ody-ody-ody” “Body” hook. The song is all tic. Its only verse is a Q-Tip feature where he free-associates about Stevie Wonder and Mariah Carey and jokes about only half-remembering A Tribe Called Quest’s time on Jive (is there anything more on-brand to rap about on a Jack White album than record labels?). Gaudy as it is, that track is downright tasteful compared to the cosmic schlock of “Into the Twilight,” which samples not one but two Manhattan Transfer songs. Like the dubby “Eosophobia,” which plays like a mashup of Augustus Pablo and Jefferson Starship, the song feels born from the headspace of a musician who’s spent entirely too much time digging for inspiration in dollar bins.

Late on Fear of the Dawn, there’s a song that stands out simply for how conventional it is. “Morning, Noon and Night” is little more than a fuzz riff and groove pulled from Zombies/Animals-era classic-rock, but after so much shtick, it’s a relief to hear White go to town over something so low-concept. And yet, shtick is Fear of the Dawn’s animating purpose, and as braying as the album’s stylistic experiments can be, the record is better for them: It has an audacity and entertainment factor that White’s last few were sorely missing. The gambits are more preposterous but also more intentional and more elaborate in their ridiculousness.

Listening to Fear of the Dawn, it’s hard not to marvel at the disconnect between White’s public image as a traditionalist scold—the blues purist yelling at everybody to put away their cell phones from the top of his personal vinyl pressing plant—and the absolutely unmoored, borderline absurdist record he just made. When an artist tries as hard as White to be eccentric, the last thing anybody wants to do is give them the satisfaction of acknowledging it, but here he’s earned it. Fear of the Dawn is fucking weird: not obligatorily weird or try-hard weird, but genuinely, imaginatively weird.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Jack White - Fear of the Dawn Music Album Reviews Jack White - Fear of the Dawn Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Thursday, April 14, 2022 Rating: 5

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