Jack White dares with everything in his new solo album, the boosted “Fear of the Dawn”

But what happened to the former leader of the White Stripes? What his new solo album, mad and furious fear of dawn, it’s the name? What happened so that the king of the garage, prisoner until now of a certain rock classicism, has fun turning all the dogma upside down, blurring all the lines with such fury?

He, the lover of vinyl records, the purist of vintage analog equipment, the one who has never had a mobile phone, would he have decided to enter modernity by advancing the cursor to the future of rock? That’s what we ask ourselves when listening to this boosted album with which Jack White rubs his guitar with rap, dub and, above all, synthesizers and samples. We don’t know if it’s the future of rock but in any case it’s a great kick to the buttocks and eardrums that never slows down.

His latest solo album, scope of pension (2018), did not leave an indelible memory. Unconvincingly, she was already displaying this appetite for experimentation, breaking down the boundaries between rock, hip-hop, jazz and electronica in titles like respect commander Where Zebra Ice Stationthat saw him even dare to rap for the first time.

Sure fear at dawn, Jack White shifts into high gear and drops the horses. We imagined him alone in his studio, wide-eyed, having fun like a teenager, sampling his guitar, turning the knobs on the synthesizers in all directions, savoring each sound with joy, as if it were the first time. With the mission of making as much noise as possible. These 12 tracks in “high energy” mode can wear out very quickly, better be in good shape to tackle it the first time, he’s been warned.

After the first three rock titles with their feet on the ground in which Jack White holds all the instruments, including the theremin, synths and percussion, we get to the heart of the matter, hang your seatbelts, with hi de ho, a mess that remarkably grafts a Cab Calloway sample to electronic bleeps, a rocking guitar riff, and a rap by his friend Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest (whose voice is unrecognizable). Against all odds, it works.

eosophobiathe haunting dub haunted by choppy riffs and raucous screams that follow it is another madness to knock you off your feet, before the album’s indescribable climax, in the twilight. With its retro choruses mixed with dry, groovy Prince & The Revolution drums, an outrageous sample from William S. Burroughs and another from Manhattan Transfer, not forgetting the bass from his 15-year-old daughter Scarlett, it’s a chaotic telescopic and almost hilarious joker. We may find it hideous and monstrous, but the building stands tall and is a challenge.

What What’s the trick in which Jack White belches out a crazy proto-rap, accompanied by cow bells (the ones heard on Run DMC and LCD Soundsystem) and a great final nod to Daft Punk, which leaves us speechless. we will still remember morning, afternoon and nighta wiser song and more similar to him, in which we hear the first guitar solo from a third of one of his albums, that of Duane Denison from The Jesus Lizard, who came one day to jam in his studio.

A rare interview granted to the British newspaper mojo offers a beginning of explanation. Of course, the Detroit native always wants to avoid repetition, to explore things he’s never done (never mind that others have done them before, he notes). But above all, we learn that Jack White, 46, has decided to radically change his lifestyle since 2020, banishing sugar from his diet and starting advanced fasts with morning sun salutations, in order, he says, to recover health and energy. one of his new obsessions. was yournot be reborn”, shown by his new blue hair, and “an electrifying experience“, according to him. Hence the impression that he has stuck his fingers in the socket. Literally. He has also been so productive that he will not release one, but two albums this year, the second, entering heaven, more peaceful and bluesy, being announced for July 22nd.

With fear at dawn, Jack White runs the risk of surprising and displeasing. We can find this album inaudible and totally vain. We bet he will become a cult. If only because it tries to erase the word impossible from the musical vocabulary and announces the madness that is coming, wherever it comes from, it deserves to be greeted.

fear at dawn by Jack White (Third Man Records) from April 8
Jack White will be in concert in France this summer: July 7 in Lyon, July 12 in Carcassonne, July 18-19 and 20 in Paris (Olympia).

album cover

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