Entertainment » Music

Boarding House Reach

by Bill Biss
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Mar 23, 2018
Boarding House Reach

Jack White comes across in a powerful way; post Freddie Mercury-intense, soulful and psychedelic, and White's voice and lyrics are truly intense and meaningful. The jam on the arrangements from the musicians harkens back to a musical level of Led Zeppelin and acid rock, matched with the exuberance of Jimi Hendrix in style. The message is as clear as "black is white and white is black" yet the triumph is that Jack White's artistic vision as a singer and musician is on full point. It's tough and intelligent stuff and more than ready for more than just a fly-by distracted notice. Jack White's social commentary is concreted within "Boarding House Reach."

Heavy metal and progressive jazz and funk hold hands together, taking a sonic ride of creative inspiration in sounds. There is no need to pick or choose one specific song, as the album is a listening experience of great magnitude in total. It's not anywhere near the expression, "It's got a good beat and I can dance to it." But there is a revelation in the innovation of his "mix and match." Experimental and exceptional in concept "Boarding House Reach" is clearly not for those stuck in a groove but for those who want to jump out of it and onto a new horizon of musical extensiveness.

However, there are the last two songs that break free from the pack of intensity with a country song and then a classical one to conclude his CD. There is the true grit of "What's Done Is Done" with a jamming organ and drum matched with the simple and melancholy lyrics of true-blue Nashville. This leads to the thought that after all this intensity, White wanted to simplify with some reflection that is structured in a less complicated way. Wrapping up his musical journey is the classical composition of "Humoresque." It's a lullaby done in a smoky jazz setting and the song is a beautiful rendition of the orchestrated version used as part of an extravagant musical number from 1936's "The Great Ziegfeld" called "A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody." Truly a grand showman, Jack White can take the listener from start to finish up or down a magnificent and mind-blowing staircase of sounds.

"Boarding House Reach"
Jack White
Columbia
$10.99

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