Jack White’s ‘Boarding House Reach’ Is an Experimental Oddity

Mercurial Singer/Songwriter Has Rhythm and Ideas to Spare

<em>Boarding House Reach</em>

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Boarding House Reach

Boarding House Reach is an experimental oddity. The infectious "Connected by Love" showcases the artist at his blues balladeering finest, while the funky and funny "Corporation" finds White doing his best James Brown tribute. The intriguing "Hypermisophoniac" splices a Keith Richards–esque "Sympathy for the Devil"–ish guitar riff with Kraftwerk-like overlays of electronic bleeps. Meanwhile, "Ice Station Zebra" is a Bizarro World antithesis of Will Smith's "Yo Home to Bel-Air" — but with the classic-film-referencing lyrics: “The name of the tune is Cool Hand Luke / 'cause I've got stripes on my pants and boots." The bombastic "Over and Over and Over" kills it through overkill, obscuring its abstruse lyrics, and "Respect Commander" is a pastiche of Muddy Waters's-by-way-of-Led Zep' s "You Shook Me." The mercurial White's got rhythm — and ideas — to spare. Who could ask for anything more?