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FUV's New Dig: Jack White

Spotlight on Jack White: His new album 'Lazaretto' is FUV's New Dig. Plus, watch video of his recent LA show.

Jack White
Third Man Records/Columbia

Jack White is a modern-day Renaissance man.

He's a guitar virtuoso, singer, songwriter, arranger, producer, band member, solo artist, music executive, store owner, inventor, snake oil salesman and a whole lot more. Now, Jack is back, and he's ready to unleash another sonic achievement, another eccentric accomplishment to his already remarkable career.

This new work is his sophomore solo album, Lazaretto, coming two years after his acclaimed debut, Blunderbuss. Lazaretto finds Jack's wild inventiveness in full bloom: Like a thrilling ride on one of the world's largest roller coasters, the album's exhilarating pace is almost constantly in hyper-drive, promising thrills of a lifetime, so fasten your seatbelt. This is not for the faint of heart.

Along the way, you never know what is going to come your way. Screaming power chords and distorted bass lines are followed by down-home fiddles and rolling timpani. To stir the creative muse, Jack found himself drawing on the works of... well, himself. A collection of long-forgotten one-act plays and poems (which he wrote as a 19-year-old) were the source of inspiration for the new songs.

Perhaps "That Black Bat Licorice" sums things up best, combining a reggae pulse, old school rap, fiddle and the trademark Jack White crunch. The album's opener, "Three Women," is classic blues rock. "Temporary Ground" is countrified and acoustic based, like late-era Byrds.

The title track evokes a Red Hot Chili Peppers vibe. "I Think I Found The Culprit" is outlaw country, complete with pedal steel and... harp? "Would You Fight For My Love?" could come from a spaghetti Western film. The instrumental "High Ball Stepper," is rustic, amped-up prog rock. "Alone In My Home," a bouncy, piano-based tune, is possibly the album's most straightforward moment.

Ultimately, Lazaretto is Jack being Jack. It preserves and reinforces Jack White's reputation as a one-of-a-kind artist. That's a crazy, good thing.

Watch Jack White live in LA

From NPR Music: Jack White celebrated the release of Lazaretto with a performance at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles, but the new songs were only part of the show. Check out video and the setlist below.

(Language Advisory: This is a live concert, and may contain language not suitable for all audiences).

  • Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground
  • High Ball Stepper
  • Lazaretto
  • Hotel Yorba
  • Temporary Ground
  • You Know That I Know
  • Missing Pieces
  • You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told)
  • Cannon/Pipeline/Fell In Love With A Girl
  • Three Women
  • Alone In My Home
  • We're Going To Be Friends
  • Top Yourself
  • I'm Slowly Turning Into You
  • Ball And Biscuit
  • Icky Thump
  • Love Interruption
  • You've Got Her In Your Pocket
  • Steady, As She Goes (partial)
  • Little Bird
  • Seven Nation Army