Pop Life

Jack White: His Best And Worst So Far

It goes without saying that Jack White is, and has been, one of the most prolific artists in contemporary popular music. From The White Stripes' self-titled album to his WTF collaboration with hardcore hip-hop dup Insane Clown Posse last year, the guy has released or produced an album every year without fail since 1999.

Given his rap sheet, it came to no surprise when the Detroit native announced a few weeks ago he's set to release his debut solo effort, Blunderbuss, through his own label Third Man Records in April, advanced by the single "Love Interruption." According to White, the record was written, produced and recorded by himself alone, and "had nothing to do with anyone or anything else."

Rocks Off has been waiting quite a while for White to have to his time to shine all by his lonesome, and in honor of the singer's forthcoming album, we rated his various other projects to hold you over.

from Get Behind Me Satan, 2005

The White Stripes: Jack and "sister" drummer Meg re-introduced garage rock to popular music listeners at a time when boy bands and teenyboppers ruled the airwaves. The guitar-and-drum duo lasted six albums that spanned the course of 10 years, finally officially disbanding last year after not releasing new material since 2007's Icky Thump.

In short, White Blood Cells, Elephant and Get Behind Me Satan are White's collective magnum opus: The drumming is manic, the riffs are wicked and Jack's voice is as disturbing and beautiful as any Thom Yorke we've ever heard. The White Stripes may have hung up their cleats, but tracks like, "My Doorbell" will leave fans forever begging for a reunion.

Verdict: Legacy

from Consolers of the Lonely, 2008

The Raconteurs: Jack's relationship with "The White Stripes" banner was rarely on steady footing. Meg's intermittent battles with anxiety sidelined the group for long stretches, and with Jack's creative energy left without an outlet during a break in 2005, the guitarist joined with singer-songwriter Brendan Benson to form The Raconteurs.

The band was dubbed a "super-group" by music journalists at its creation, but through two albums, nothing super ever materialized. White's writing was tempered by his collaborators, and the band produced only a handful of memorable tracks -- and "Old Enough" stands among the best of them.

Verdict: Worthwhile

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ricardo J. Rivera