Random Access Memories
It's tempting to assume that Jack White needs so many outlets to give voice to all sides of his musical personality.
Thus the White Stripes allowed him to indulge his inner gnarled bluesman, the Raconteurs let his punk-pop side come out to play and the Dead Weather channel his love for riff-laden 70s heavy rock. So which version will he choose for his debut solo offering?
The answer is all of them, and plenty more besides. Blunderbuss is essentially blues-based but within the potentially restrictive limitations of that genre it is also staggeringly eclectic, veering wilfully from the Stones-like honky-tonk boogie of Hypocritical Kiss to the pouting glam of Trash Tongue Talker and the title track's acoustic delicacy.
On the latter song, White's falsetto becomes so hysterical that he nears Axl Rose territory, and his lyrical concerns are equally maverick. Tracks such as the Dylan-esque I Guess I Should Go To Sleep bemoan a failed relationship, yet his ex-wife Karen Elson happily trills backing vocals throughout: on a lesser note, Freedom At 21 finds White primly lamenting the consequence-free irresponsibility of internet trolls.
The most exciting feature is that every play of this rudimentary yet complex album reveals further hidden depths. It's the high point to date of a consummate artist: a musical genius.