A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Blunderbuss is the first solo album from Jack White, who also performs as part of the White Stripes and Raconteurs. Debuting at Number One on Billboard's album chart, Blunderbuss was nominated for two Grammy Awards: Album of the Year and Best Rock Album. The album features crashing drums, '70s rock guitars and melodious keyboards, as well as White's plaintive voice on poetic songs that seem dreamlike but full of pain. White uses foul language ("ass," "hell," "bastard") in a few songs, and a couple of tame references to sex (touching, kissing). His use of violent imagery -- a metaphor for emotional suffering -- can be disturbing, especially on the single "Love Interruption," which repeatedly combines the phrase "I want love to" with violent acts: "I want love to murder my own mother." Also note that "Blunderbuss" mentions a "man in drag."
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What's the story?
BLUNDERBUSS is the first solo album from Jack White, who's also associated with the White Stripes and Raconteurs. White produced and wrote almost all of the material on the album (with the exception of a cover of Little Willie John's "I'm Shakin'), which debuted at Number One on Billboard's album chart and was nominated for two Grammy Awards: Album of the Year and Best Rock Album. Three singles from this album also charted: "Sixteen Saltines," "Freedom at 21" and "Love Interruption." Musically, the release combines crashing drums, '70s rock guitars, fine acoustic playing, and melodious keyboards, as well as White's plaintive singing on poetic songs that frequently use physical violence as a metaphor for emotional suffering.
Is it any good?
Jack White's irreverent approach to music making appeals on so many levels, beyond the shock value of a song like "Love Interruption" that persists in pairing tenderness with extreme violence. The kind of fist-pumping guitar-god rock of "Sixteen Saltines" has been riveting teens since the '60s, while the folk-jazz beauty of the title track is complex and deeply emotional. It's not a huge stretch to say that Blunderbuss resembles a lost Led Zeppelin record, and it's no surprise that teens and their parents are into it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether Jack White is writing about physical or emotional pain in the song "Freedom at 21," for example.
Jack White gives few interviews and seems to disdain celebrity. Do you think his attitude about self-promotion helps or hurts his success?
Why do you think "Love Interruption" mentions "love" doing so many violent things?
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