Jack White Can’t Get Out Of Music Writers’ Spotlights

noah | July 14, 2009 10:00 am

Our look at the closing lines of the week’s biggest new-music reviews continues with a roundup of reactions to Horehound, the first album by the Jack White/Allison Mosshart project The Dead Weather: • “The songs on Horehound don’t so much rock as writhe, reinstituting the idea of the blues as a sinister, morally corrupting force that’s as much the province of voodoo priests and witch doctors as musicians. Perhaps Jack White’s continued dominance over contemporary blues-rock is in fact the product of some deal with the devil—and if that means more bands as fully realized as the Dead Weather, let’s hope that Beelzebub will consider a contract renewal.” [Stuart Berman, Pitchfork] • “In White’s ‘Cut Like a Buffalo,’ his lead vocal, one of just two on this outing, is accompanied by the convulsive sounds of Mosshart’s gurgles as he cries, ‘Is that you choking / Or are you just joking?’ There’s no joke here — just mountains of chest-rattling primal rock designed to reassert the elemental power of the four-piece rock group. Mission accomplished.” [Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times] • “But for all its shock value, ‘I Cut Like a Buffalo’ isn’t much of a song and that, rather than Mosshart’s thin voice, turns out to be Horehound‘s big problem; there’s a lot of songs that initially sound great, but leave no lasting trace. You listen to ‘Treat Me Like Your Mother’ or ‘No Hassle Night’ and wish they’d spent longer than the much-vaunted fortnight making Horehound; you’d sacrifice some immediacy for better-crafted songs. As it is, it starts promising, but ends up feeling like the very thing it purports not to be: another calling card for Jack White’s multifarious talents.” [Alexis Petridis, The Guardian] • “Lifeless, Boss Hog-biting blooz-rap from two people who are more experimental in their real bands.” [Christopher R. Weingarten, 1000TimesYes]