Boarding House Reach

Boarding House Reach

by Jack WhiteJack White


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Due to his affection for prewar music and myths, Jack White often gets pigeonholed as a blues-rock revivalist -- an assessment that isn't so much wrong as it is incomplete. Even in the earliest days of the White Stripes, White limited his aural palette with deliberate zeal, a practice he sustained through the Stripes as well as his first two solo albums. Boarding House Reach is where he expands his horizons and that discipline begins to fracture, and quite intentionally so. "Connected by Love" -- the album's opening track and first single -- is a rousing bit of arena rock and the only cut that could truly have appeared on either Blunderbuss or Lazaretto. Once that song draws to a close, White dives into a moody electronic meditation called "Why Walk a Dog?" -- an oddity that's quickly eclipsed by the hard funk of "Corporation," a song that marks the third different sound in as many tracks. Things get progressively stranger from this point forward. Recitations commingle with raps, gurgling synthesizers tangle with blues piano, operatic overdubs are paired with fuzz guitars, sci-fi send-ups meet their match with short stories. Every moment suggests that White is kicking against the pricks, desperate to be seen as a modern rock artist, not a fusty throwback. While his attempt at redefinition is a success -- there's no question that this is the work of an artist willing to take risks -- it's an open question whether Boarding House Reach succeeds as an album. Its diffuse nature is enthralling, but it also means that the record has a halting momentum -- a perhaps inevitable byproduct of a musician eager to drive himself into the ditch. Another odd element of Boarding House Reach is how, despite his thirst to get weird, White is by nature a very regimented artist who has a desire to have everything in its right place. "Corporation" and "Ice Station Zebra," the two funkiest numbers here, illustrate this with their precise grooves, but even the self-consciously weird interludes show this same level of exactitude. While that keeps Boarding House Reach somewhat in a straitjacket, it also makes it a fascinating listen, because it's a document of a control freak anxious to get loose.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/23/2018
Label: Columbia Records
UPC: 0190758189321
catalogNumber: 581893
Rank: 158238

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jack White   Primary Artist,Organ,Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Piano,Drums,Electric Guitar,Tambourine,Vocals,Electric Drums,Synthesizer Voices
Bobby Allende   Percussion,Conga,Drums,Tambourine
Carla Azar   Drums,Electric Drums
Ann McCrary   Background Vocals
Quincy McCrary   Synthesizer,Piano
Fats Kaplin   Fiddle
Neal Evans   Synthesizer,Piano,Hammond Organ,Moog Synthesizer
Ian Montone   Sampled Piano
Regina McCrary   Background Vocals
Louis Cato   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Drums,Electric Drums
Brooke Waggoner   Piano
Daru Jones   Drums
C.W. Stoneking   Spoken Word
Charlotte Kemp Muhl   Bass,Electric Bass,6-string bass
Dominic Davis   Upright Bass
Justin Poree   Percussion,Conga,Berimbau,Cuica,Shaker,Udu
Keith Smith   Trumpet
Justin Carpenter   Trombone
Neil Konouchi   Tuba
Joshua Gillis   Acoustic Guitar
Esther Rose   Background Vocals
DJ Harrison   Synthesizer,Viola Nordestina
Gianluca Braccio Montone   Sampled Piano
Neon Phoenix   Bass
Anthony Brewster   Synthesizer,Hammond Organ,Synthesizer Strings

Technical Credits

Antonin Dvorák   Composer
Vance Powell   Engineer
Jack White   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,Art Direction,Video Synthesiser,Inside Photo
Bill Skibbe   Engineer
Howard Johnson   Composer
Todd Monfalcone   Engineer
Joshua V. Smith   Engineer
Tristan McNatt   Art Direction
Caitlin Parker   Art Direction

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