Jack White has achieved a lot, to put it mildly. Since bursting onto the scene with Fell In Love With A Girl in 2002, his success as part of The White Stripes skyrocketed, and White unknowingly wrote the fanfare for such disparate figures as Robin Van Persie and Jeremy Corbyn with Seven Nation Army. Since their disbandment, White has been seen in The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, as a solo artist since 2012.
Boarding House Reach is his third solo effort, and if there’s one man you can solely rely on never, ever selling out, it’s Jack White. This record is quite bonkers, but in truly wonderful fashion. White’s love for vintage instruments and analogue recording is no secret, utilising that love on what is probably his most experimental work yet.
Lyrically, this album is quite sparse, with many of the tracks bringing the erratic arrangements to the forefront. For example, on Hypermisophoniac, whose title aptly prepares the listener for its pure nuttiness: it sees Jack mostly repeating 'ain’t no running when you’re robbing a bank', over a synth that sounds like malfunctioning supermarket equipment, as well as a sporadic rock band accompaniment. Followed by Ice Station Zebra, White is now heard speaking over clavinet, with the occasional rock interjection and hammered out piano chords. It’s certainly not relaxing, but fully fascinating.
Over and Over and Over almost sounds like System Of A Down with its possessed, trade-off vocals and heavy rock beat. The album’s opener, Connected By Love, initially sounds Vangelis-esque with its orchestration of retro synthesisers, until a glorious gospel chorus takes over. Corporation leans on James Brown with excellent, funky riffage, with White occasionally calling out 'who’s with me?'