Blunderbuss - Jack White
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. Apr 19, 2012
    100
    While Blunderbuss appears to be definite off-loading of emotional baggage, it also feels like a move toward rebirth. [May 2012, p.80]
  2. Apr 19, 2012
    100
    Blunderbuss is White at his most strange, contradictory and unfathomable, and therefore at his best.
  3. Apr 13, 2012
    100
    From its raucous, raw-edged opening salvo to the softer, weirder, ruminative closing tracks, Blunderbuss crackles with life and energy, hauling roots rock out of the dusty museum and into the dazzling light of the modern day.
  4. Apr 13, 2012
    95
    Blunderbuss isn't just (arguably) the best album of the year so far, it opens up a whole new world for him.
  5. White's nominal solo debut is as striking sonically as any album he's ever authorized.
  6. Apr 27, 2012
    90
    Perhaps his greatest record.
  7. Apr 24, 2012
    90
    Blunderbuss gets stranger and more fascinating the closer you listen.
  8. Apr 24, 2012
    90
    Familiar yet thrilling, Blunderbuss is a masterful introduction to a man we've known all along.
  9. Apr 19, 2012
    90
    Lovelorn, honest, poignant and emotional in the best way imaginable.
  10. Apr 24, 2012
    88
    It makes for an entertaining rollercoaster of a listen.
  11. Apr 17, 2012
    88
    His most compelling collection of songs in years.
  12. Apr 24, 2012
    83
    There are at least five songs on Blunderbuss that match the excellence of The White Stripes' best, and on the whole the album performs the tricky task of updating White's musical aesthetic without euthanizing its primal nature.
  13. Apr 30, 2012
    80
    "Blunderbuss" is, quite simply, a marvelous rock album.
  14. Apr 26, 2012
    80
    Contradictions are nothing new for Jack White but he's never been as emotionally direct as he is here, nor has he been as musically evasive, and that dichotomy makes Blunderbuss a record that only seems richer with increased exposure.
  15. Apr 25, 2012
    80
    The album is brimming with fabulously skewed turns of phrase that make sense from different angles, as White's protagonists wrestle with what it means to be alternately besotted and gutted.
  16. Apr 25, 2012
    80
    This is a hard, dark, inventive record that strongly suggests that give or take an imaginary sister and some fiddles, Jack White is pretty much the same boy we've always known.
  17. 80
    This is the side of Jack White III he's happy to show the world right now, and it's absolutely fascinating to behold.
  18. Apr 24, 2012
    80
    At the end of the day, White's still an enigma, and so is Blunderbuss, its mysteries unfolding in odd ways when you least expect it.
  19. Apr 24, 2012
    80
    It's his freest record, musically speaking, and in its bloodstained lyrics, which run the gamut from cautionary to vindictive to self-loathing, it opens up a side of White that previously has been impenetrable, wrapped up in his own self-mythologizing persona as he was.
  20. Apr 24, 2012
    80
    There's no avoiding the fact 'Blunderbuss' is an album for those already long inducted into the church of Jack White.
  21. Apr 23, 2012
    80
    Nominal solo debut notwithstanding, Blunderbuss is the sound of a mid-career stride.
  22. Apr 23, 2012
    80
    Yet another reliably great outing, full of intriguing plot developments, yet in faithful keeping with White's previous output.
  23. Blunderbuss does, at times approach his finest work. But it doesn't do anything he hasn't already done.
  24. Apr 23, 2012
    80
    Driven by demons and fired by fury, 'Blunderbuss' is a turbulent insight into one man's wrath - but it rocks. Hard.
  25. 80
    On Blunderbuss, he's stumbled into some nasty business. These are songs of ruthless temptresses and treacherous men, of uncontrollable desire and unbearable guilt.
  26. Apr 17, 2012
    80
    It's a surly, spiky piece of work, on which the few shafts of sweetness are soon soured with guilt, recrimination and reproach. [May 2012, p.66]
  27. Apr 16, 2012
    80
    Blunderbuss has a special casualness to it, thanks to White surrounding himself with a coterie of Nashville locals able to take him where he wants to go. The destination in question may very well be back to the early '70s, where country- and blues-tinged crossover records captivated America's post-Vietnam psyche.
  28. Apr 13, 2012
    80
    A concentrated shot of charisma, undiluted and intoxicating. [May 2012, p.92]
  29. May 10, 2012
    78
    He's written better songs and told better stories, but Blunderbuss lends rare perspective on a man who generally lets image speak for him.
  30. Apr 23, 2012
    78
    It's got some of his best pure songwriting yet, but no earth-cracking riffs. Still, as a treatise on loss and its schizophrenic aftermath, Blunderbuss is a purposeful success.
  31. 75
    There's a certain Opryland jam-session charm to it all, but Blunderbuss lacks the electric jolt that made previous outfits the White Stripes and the Dead Weather so exciting.
  32. Jun 19, 2012
    70
    Is White's nonchalant spectrum dabbling [found throughout the album] as interesting as the myriad variables of his own quirky sound? Eh, not quite. [No.88 p.60]
  33. May 7, 2012
    70
    Blunderbuss is good, damn good, and its' few missteps unthinking.
  34. 70
    The punchy songs and spontaneous performances are contagious in their jittery energy.
  35. Blunderbuss is a quiet album that that doesn't yearn, instead unfolding slowly, from an artist known for his stark music and desperately longing lyrics.
  36. Apr 24, 2012
    70
    It's quite good. It just feels like it should be-and wants to be-better.
  37. 70
    He's a little scatterbrained on Blunderbuss, as if he's still shaking up his past to move forward into the future, and as a result, Jack White represents everything Jack White has already accomplished.
  38. Apr 23, 2012
    70
    Blunderbuss feel satisfying, but not astoundingly progressive. It's a solo debut that can be interpreted in two ways, with White either easing his way into a new template or putting window dressing on the same old ideas.
  39. Apr 18, 2012
    70
    'Blunderbuss'' weaknesses are diminished by moments of sheer greatness.
  40. Apr 18, 2012
    70
    He still swaggers with the best of them.
  41. Apr 25, 2012
    60
    Somewhere along the way, though, the emotions fail to match up, or the song structures that always sound so familiar fail to separate themselves from what's come before.
  42. Apr 23, 2012
    60
    Few songs on "Blunderbuss" truly knock the wind out of you, as the White Stripes could - even with riffs that were fragmentary, simple or borrowed. This is a songwriter's record, and a kind of orchestrator's record; there's also a new overall vehemence in the lyrics, hammering on dishonesty, jealousy, immorality.
  43. Apr 23, 2012
    60
    Despite all the critics desperately wanting White to continue being our modern-day rock savior, the record can't have it both ways [being both a pointed statement about the pains of a break up and a collection of daring, wacky and eccentric songs] -although it's still a blast to hear it try.
  44. Apr 19, 2012
    60
    Thankfully, there are just enough flashes of brilliance to save it, even if much of the album comes across as a really expensive demo.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 136 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 37
  2. Negative: 1 out of 37
  1. Apr 24, 2012
    10
    It's not the White Stripes, it's not the Raconteurs, it's not the Dead Weather. It's a strange, creative, and very emotional blend of all of White's collective sounds that has echoes of old-school blues, garage rock, and even some folk. The album never gets repetitive, features lyrics that express the thoughts of a man that sometimes feels that people want him to do things that he doesn't want to do, and features some screeching Jack White style guitar licks just when they're needed. The album isn't an extreme of anything, and nothing all that new is done, but the way the sounds blend together create a very strong experience of an album, with a few stellar songs, that is a great way to mark the beginning to what I hope will be a very long solo career. Full Review »
  2. Apr 24, 2012
    10
    The most important thing to remember when listening to this album is that it isn't a debut. It's his 12th, and the new-found maturity helps it sticks right up there with the best of what he's done before. This album is some of the best music to come out of anywhere recently, and has the strongest shout for album of the year so far. Full Review »
  3. Feb 17, 2013
    10
    There's a reason this album and the song 21 century were nominated as both best album and best song of the year at the Grammy's Jack white completely stole the show outperforming every single musician on stage that night. We're talking about giving a live performance on television that's better than every single musician that we could possibly think of giving an Grammy's to.

    All around this album is a 11/10 for me. One of the best album's I've heard in my entire life.
    Full Review »