The innovators of rock are the ones who tend to really create something special. Artists who embrace change and aren't fussed with logical direction are the ones that are truly timeless, and Jack White definitely knows that. Jack White flips the script in Boarding House Reach, his new album that combines several genres together for a strange yet enticing experience.
If Boarding House Reach has anything, it's variety. White hits upon everything from your classic alternative rock to folk to even hip-hop, all within the span of about forty minutes. 'Ice Station Zebra' combines some bluesy rhythms with an old-school hip-hop delivery, bringing a pretty interesting fusion to the table. 'What's Done Is Done' takes on a more traditional, folky vibe with female backing vocals creating those vintage harmonies. White explores a lot of jazz and blues on the album, especially in tracks like 'Why Walk A Dog?' with its electronic elements and the long jam of 'Corporation.'
The bottom line is, Jack White's music becomes even weirder in Boarding House Reach, but it has a charm. At times, it feels like the album's so bent on being different that it detracts from the overall quality, like some of the skit-infused tracks including 'Abulia and Akrasia' and the action-packed 'Hypermisophroniac.' There are some central tracks that really do show that it's not all some misguided experiment, though: the huge, anthemic riff of 'Over and Over and Over' brings a more alternative vibe to the table, the jagged production style really doing wonders here. Closing track 'Humoresque' really takes the bluesy influence and adds a sense of wonder to it, the chords swelling like the waves in an ocean, peacefully and mysteriously bringing the album out.
Jack White flips the script in Boarding House Reach, hitting upon a variety of genres for one odd blend but showing that his musicianship isn't tied down to one area of expertise. White isn't an artist who likes being pigeonholed, and its this sense of disorganization and oddity that really makes his music memorable. Sometimes not being grounded is all you need for something special.
Favorite Tracks: Over and Over and Over, Humoresque
Least Favorite Track: Abulia and Akrasia
Rating: 74 / 100
Stream or buy Boarding House Reach on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: