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Jack White Fear of the Dawn Album Review

by RabbitHoleMusic
Jack White Fear of the Dawn Album Review
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Today we are doing a Jack White Fear of the Dawn album review. Fear of the Dawn is the first half of the two separate albums scheduled for 2022. Jack White’s third solo effort, “Fear Of The Dawn” (pronounced “fear of the dawn”) is a concept album about the end of days, and it’s a doozy.

Read on to see if this is the a good addition to your music collection.

About Jack White

Jack White is an American rock musician and songwriter. He is best known as the lead singer and guitarist of The White Stripes, which he formed with his ex-wife Meg White in 1997. The White Stripes released seven studio albums, three live albums, two extended plays (EPs), 26 singles, 11 music videos, and one concert film, The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights. In 2002, the group won three Grammy Awards for their work on the album White Blood Cells.

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In 2005, Jack White founded The Raconteurs with Brendan Benson and in 2009 he formed The Dead Weather with Alison Mosshart of The Kills, Dean Fertita of Queens of the Stone Age, and Jack Lawrence of The Raconteurs. He is also a member of The Runners Four. White has released two solo albums, Blunderbuss in 2012 and Lazaretto in 2014, which topped the charts in the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. His third solo album, Boarding House Reach, was released on March 23, 2018.

About Fear of the Dawn

If this is the album’s apparent topic, Fear of the Dawn may be a reflection of our existentially troubled historical period. White inverts the narrative, implying that the new day provokes horror, although dawn and daylight pictures have hitherto served as literary metaphors for hope on the horizon.

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Musically, the album is a bit all over the place, but that is to be expected from Jack White. Following Boarding House Reach, which was my least favorite solo album by White, I had high expectations. There are some great rock songs, some blues, a little bit of country, and even a little bit of rap.

Fear Of The Dawn

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as of June 8, 2022 2:54 pm

On Fear of the Dawn, Jack White is the only credited musician on the entire album, however it appears that there are four of him. Apart from the absence of Meg White, the embracing of overdubs has bloated White’s previously sleek garage-rock into progressively bulkier, more cartoonish renditions of itself, which has separated White’s solo endeavors from his work with the White Stripes.

Fear of the Dawn is a chaotic, illogical mix of blues-rock and carnival prog that contains some of White’s most absurd artistic experiments. Excess has become White’s driving muse, and he’s never heaped it on thicker than he does on Fear of the Dawn.

Lyrics and Music

Right from the lead track, Taking Me Back I though we were going to be in for a treat. That nasty fuzz of the electric guitar with lead guitar heroics overlay and basic bluesey drumming harkened back to The White Stripes first album.

The opening lyrics, “I’ll bet you do / When you take out the figures / And you pull all the triggers / Well you’re taking me back” immediately did take me back to some classic garage rock.

The song continues with some more modern production values, however. There are lots of little studio tricks going on here. Reverb on the vocals, echo on the guitars, and a general feeling of ethereal-ness throughout.

The gravity of the track is conveyed through the power of the words and the performance. Adding the eerie element of garage-rock guitar tones to this modern rock song is the frosting on the cake, even if White’s regular sound is much heavier. Trashy-grit guitar enhancing the beatdown grooves are clearly from the garage, but ‘Fear of the Dawn’ has a punk/metal vibe to it all.

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On Fear of the Dawn, Jack White is the only credited musician, however it appears that there are four of him. Apart from the absence of Meg White, the embracing of overdubs has bloated White’s previously sleek garage-rock into progressively bulkier, more cartoonish renditions of itself. This has separated White’s solo endeavors from his work with the White Stripes.

Fear of the Dawn is a chaotic, illogical mix of blues-rock and carnival prog that contains some of White’s most absurd artistic experiments. Excess has become White’s driving muse, and he’s never heaped it on thicker than he does on Fear of the Dawn.

Lyrics and Music

Right from the lead track, Taking Me Back I though we were going to be in for a treat. That nasty fuzz guitar with lead guitar overlay and basic bluesey drumming harkened back to The White Stripes first album.

The opening lyrics, “I’ll bet you do / When you take out the figures / And you pull all the triggers / Well you’re taking me back” immediately did take me back to some classic garage rock.

The song continues with some more modern production values, however. There are lots of little studio tricks going on here. Reverb on the vocals, echo on the guitars, and a general feeling of ethereal-ness throughout.

The gravity of the track is conveyed through the power of the words and the performance. Adding the eerie element of garage-rock music to this song is the frosting on the cake, even if White’s regular sound is much heavier. Trashy-grit guitar enhancing the beatdown grooves are clearly from the garage, but ‘Fear of the Dawn’ has a punk/metal vibe to it all.

With the title track “Fear of the Dawn,” frontman Jack White takesus back with a heavy metal banger. A nod to his early 2000s garage rock revival triumph and the gold he’s earned through his solo work and White Stripes.To create an album unlike any other, the Nashville-based impresario goes back to his creative roots.

Fear Of The Dawn

Amazon.com
as of June 8, 2022 2:54 pm

“Every time I go in, I’m trying to do something I haven’t done before,” Jack White recently explained. “And it’s not like something that other people have never done before. It’s just something I have never done before.”

Unfortunately as we continue to explore the album we are met with a mix of OK songs and some songs that are far reaches. By the time we reach “Hi-De-Ho”, the albums third track, we reach kinda a WTF moment. It starts off solid with a spooky, garage rock riff but then goes sideways fast.

The White Raven track starts out with a reverb drenched guitar before it blasts into a fuzz and wah-wah sound wall of noise that is just so damn cool. The chorus has a bit of a pop element to it with the “ooh ooh ooh”s, but it’s still very much a rock song.

On a lot of songs it feels like White is going without a script to follow. This is typical of a lot of his solo work. Some of the tracks feels like he may have taken it a bit too far. Although I don’t mind sudden and startling changes, I was disappointed to discover that this album’s insane gear shifts and genre bending attitude were only a thin veil hiding a dearth of song craft.

Sound Quality

As expected from most Third Man Records pressings, the sound quality is very good. As the needle advances inward, there is no surface noise or sibilance. Although there isn’t a lot of stereo separation, the mix is quiet enough to allow for a high volume setting.

Not audiophile by any means but there is a nice separation of the instruments. The guitars are fairly high in the mix which is to be expected from a Jack White album. This creates a forward, in the middle of the action, feeling. The drums are nicely balanced with the guitars and have a good amount of attack.

The bass is a bit more subdued in the mix but can be heard if you pay attention. The vocals are also up high in the mix and are clear and concise.

On the CD release, I found it to be compressed and brick walled. The compression is severe, but it isn’t as hard-hitting as Boarding House Reach’s compression. Not sure how he could’ve known to limit the first two albums and then go back to Loudness Wars levels for the last two.

Packaging

Pressed at Third Man the vinyl I received was dead flat and silent. The packaging is a standard gatefold jacket with printed inner sleeves. The artwork is done by Jennifer Dionisio and features White in an apocalyptic scene with a car in the background.

Fear Of The Dawn

Amazon.com
as of June 8, 2022 2:54 pm

The back of the jacket has the track listing and credits as well as some additional photography.

Bottom Line of our Jack White Fear of the Dawn Album Review

If you are a fan of Jack White or garage/punk rock in general I think you will enjoy this album. While it may not be his best work, there are some killer tracks on here. The sound quality is very good on the vinyl and the packaging is standard but nice.

I would recommend picking this up if you see it for a good price or on our vinyl deals page. If you are new to Jack White I would recommend starting with one of his other albums first.

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