If you have read much of this blog you know that I do not shy away from telling you exactly how I feel about the records I write about. I don’t fancy myself some sort of groundbreaking music journalist; I am just a guy who loves music. I am very loyal to some artists and I couldn’t care less about whether or not that makes my blog one of integrity. I just want to share with you the things I hear when I listen to my albums.
I say all of that to say this: I freaking love Jack White. The man is a mad genius. The Red Demos is a part of the latest package from the Third Man Records Vault and it is incredible.
This record is Jack and Meg White in the studio working on what will eventually become Icky Thump from The White Stripes. This album is part of their creative process and is a peek behind the curtain into the world of a musical wizard. Most of The Red Demos is instrumental; you can hear that Jack is working through his final ideas for the songs that are going to be on the album.
The songs that are not instrumental are far from finished. The vocal work is less aggressive than what you normally hear on a record from The White Stripes and is more laid back. In fact, some of the lyrics are not complete. The version of Icky Thump that is on this record is particularly interesting because it sounds as if Jack White is making it up as he goes along. Listening to The Red Demos truly is a fly-on-the-wall experience.
If you are not a fan of The White Stripes, this probably is not the record for you. However, if you are interested to hear part of the creative process that went into making the Grammy award-winning swan song of one of the most influential bands of the past 30 years, then you should seek this record out.
You say that you are a fan of Jack White and everything he touches? Find this record. Do whatever you have to do to own it.
My favorite track: Catch Hell Blues (this version is completely instrumental and impossible to find on YouTube, so here is the regular version)