Album review: Jack White anthology reveals the depth of the talented songwriter
Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016
Three and a half stars
Jack White anthologises his unplugged material, from the White Stripes to the Raconteurs and beyond. Album versions, remixes and the previously unreleased City Lights add up to an engaging 26-track chronological collection that cries out for an electric companion to complete the portrait of rock’s most modern traditionalist.
Appearing at nearly the midpoint of this two-CD compilation, City Lights is a worthy addition to the canon, a fragile, vulnerable vocal gauging his sanity and paying homage to his “surest and safest bet”. Honey, We Can’t Afford to Look This Cheap has John Prine-like subject matter, the song’s title an apt summary of its mood.
Quality attractions include Never Far Away from the Cold Mountain soundtrack, the stripped-down murder ballad Carolina Drama, the spirit of the Zombies on Apple Blossom and the Alex Chilton vibe of We’re Going to Be Friends. Fans will know the words and hum the tunes – others can simply enjoy the unvarnished tunes of a top-notch songwriter.
* Associated Press
Published: September 19, 2016 04:00 AM