Our newsletter hand-delivers the best bits to your inbox. Sign up to unlock our digital magazines and also receive the latest news, events, offers and partner promotions. The White Stripe's new solo album is a stonker, even without the bells and whistles of the deluxe vinyl version. Over four years, Harvey and photojournalist Seamus Murphy spent time in Kosovo, Afghanistan and poor areas of Washington DC, notebook and camera in hand. What they saw furnished a volume of poetry and images, footage for music videos and a documentary, and finally these 11, frequently thrilling but more often deeply uneasy, songs.
Full points for earnestness. Here she observes the current aftermath of geopolitical fuck-ups in diligently literal detail. They smirked, sulked and swished instead of faking showbiz grins. But then again, his lingering gaucheness can be endearing. It would just be a boring running theme.
After the insane success of that breakthrough second album, Adele could have had it all. She could have travelled the world, broadened her horizons, learned new tricks. Reinvention was within her grasp. Kwabs can sing. I mean, really, really, sounds-a-bitlike-Luther-Vandross sing — and he makes sure you know it with a bunch of excellent pop bangers and the odd pulsating ballad on this debut LP.
There are one or two worrying moments, where things threaten to go a bit Mick Hucknall, but, frankly, Kwabs could be backed by the Teletubbies and this album would still be an impressive debut. But give it time and patience and beauty emerges from the chaos. Sounds geeky and boring, right? What would I be telling myself how to do? If I could go back and say, "No, this is how you write a song. This is how you work with metaphors. Try it like this. First of all, how the hell do you throw these away?
Laughter I know it's like the photographs, but I'm gonna be the one there screaming, "How do you take writings that you do when you're a kid and just toss them? But to take what makes the most sense — what's the beautiful aspect of it? Take that out, and the rest can, you know, be set on fire, because they'll ruin the one good thing. That's why I think bad photographs in an envelope ruin the one beautiful photograph. Because when you see the beautiful one, and people want to keep digging through the other photos, and say, "Oh, maybe there's one that's better.
Take, for example, right now: If you found a bag of Jimi Hendrix photos, you're gonna print every single one of them, because it's a bag of photos of Jimi Hendrix. When are you going to see this again? You're not going to take out the one good one. You're going to print all of them, and probably have an art show and sell each one of them, you know? Laughs But I'm sure he would like, "Oh, my God, there's one good one in there and that's it. It's a really hard discipline. Back to the idea of reconnecting with yourself when you were What did you see in your writings that you did like?
What was it about yourself then that you thought something was there? A lust for life, but with no experience. It's a different place to be in. Now, I start to write, and I think about these characters and where they could go. I think, "Oh, this person would do that. Whereas when I was writing when I was 19, I thought, "Oh, no, when you get to the end of that tunnel, something beautiful and romantic might happen there, and it goes to another level.
I have to talk myself out of the harsh reality that, over the years, your romance becomes tempered by realism. And you have to figure out a balance of keeping outlook on life positive, but knowing in the back of your head that there could be a bad ending to this.
Anyway, on another note, let me play "Lazaretto. What's the Spanish there? This was a rhyme about the braggadocio of some hip-hop lyrics — the bragging about oneself in hip-hop music. The character who's singing this song is bragging about himself, but he's actually bragging about real things he's actually accomplished and real things that he actually does, not imaginary things or things he would like to do.
Because sometimes you see people who, they sing from the heart, but they haven't done anything, you know? And their lives are not very interesting or whatever. So this character in this song actually has worked very hard in his life and he's done some interesting things. You can't sing a lyric like "I work hard.
So I had to change it to Spanish: " Yo trabajo duro. This song takes a dark turn, talking about being quarantined on the Isle of Man — "trying to escape any way that I can," I think is the rhyme. I wanted to talk about what a Lazaretto is. This is the only thing I that I really put in the album of my own personality.
There's a song called "That Black Bat Licorice," where I talk about being confined, a prisoner in a hospital. That really is me, personally. My sort of fantasy that I have is, I wish that some other forces, some powers that be, would push me into this scenario for a month and lock me somewhere, instead of me doing it to myself all the time.
I'm always imposing restrictions on myself. And so I guess my fantasy is, it would be so nice to be in a quarantine hospital, but not to die from it — just to know that I had to stay here for two months and I can't do anything else. That's why I named the album Lazaretto.
So a lazaretto is a place where they took people who, for some reason, a disease or It's a word for a quarantine hospital , or a quarantine island, or something like that. It's a beautiful-sounding word, too, "lazaretto" — coming from Lazarus, I guess. I was drinking so much coffee, and I'm resting on these cotton sheets and pillows, and I'm smothering my face in cotton all day long. But at the same time, I'm also taking the coffee grounds and creating little sculptures out of them. These are the few materials that I have in the room together that, if you just give me a couple of slivers of wood and some metal shavings, I will be forced to create something in this room, under this condition.
But someone sent me this beautiful thing that someone had found in an interview, that one of the West Memphis Three — those people that got put into jail unjustly — in jail, he was making drawings with Q-tips and coffee grounds. I couldn't believe it, man! You'd say, "Oh that's where you got that idea. I'd never heard of that, but that's an unbelievable coincidence.
I couldn't believe that. That's one of the biggest coincidences I've ever had in my life. I really like that lyric now, even more. What do you make of coincidences? I deal with this a lot — wondering about fate, and where is fate, is there fate, do things happen for a reason, or do you just put two things together and make a purpose from them? This is the most beautiful and scientifically the most sad thing about that topic, is that, when I was younger, I had heard about synchronicity, when things are happening at the same time: You went to someone's house and they were watching the same TV show you were just talking about in the car.
I had this unbelievable thing happen; this will be my maybe second favorite coincidence. I was in line at a drive-through coffee place in Detroit. This was, like, 10 years ago. And I was telling somebody in line while I was paying for coffee, "You know that in World War II, they couldn't make pennies out of copper? They had to make them out of steel or aluminum.
But they weren't copper. And someone was telling me, "Oh, that's interesting. I'm given a steel penny from I was like, "C'mon, there's just no way. So, unbelievable coincidence. But I read this article a couple years ago about how, scientifically, our brain, we have to create patterns. We look for patterns of similarity all the time; we're trying to find things that are similar so that our brain can make sense of them.
And that, shockingly, is the seed of a lot of romantic ideas for a lot of people on a day-to-day basis, even for a lot of artists, you know? That it was meant to be. Actually, it's our brain focusing on patterns, trying to discover patterns all the time. It's a little bit sad to say that, so I hate even saying that out loud because it kind of kills a lot of romance about things. It does, but when those moments happen, it's really difficult to let go of the romance of it. So you'd rather someone take you for a month and put you on that island.
What would be the difference of you doing that, and someone making you do that? Whenever I had a lot of problems going on, and they're piling up on each other, I used to think, or say out loud to someone, "Well, God, I wish at least my leg was broken. At least then I'd know what the problem was. I have to wait six weeks now. But all the other kinds of problems in life, they can be vague, and they're unsolvable, and you can't get your head around them.
And they're imposed by these ridiculous things. Not problems you want to have. They're not good problems. So that's why I guess that fantasy comes from me wanting to be in the Marine Corps or in prison or something. Something where someone else told me that I have to be in this spot and can't leave. That would be a nice thing for me. There are many beautiful things that happen in the song "Temporary Ground," and I want to know who helped with that — both the fiddle and then that harmony.
That's Lillie Mae Rische, who just exemplifies freedom to me in every way possible. And the first lyric is, "On a floating lily island" — again, sort of an accidental coincidence. I had read in National Geographic about these giant Queen Victoria lily pads that could hold up to a hundred pounds, so a person could actually float on a lily pad, which seems like an Alice in Wonderland , Through the Looking Glass kind of idea.
So coincidentally, two ideas about freedom, and the word "lily" together. Yeah, she sings on there too. She didn't at first, but I really wanted to get her voice on there. When you work on a song like this, would you sit with Lillie Mae in a room and make it? I did this one with the whole band, and then we asked her if she would sing on it later on, after I had put vocals down. She just really, for some reason, exemplifies freedom in all ways to me. She grew up in a band. She was on stage when she was three years old and traveling with her family band, playing music on different stages and fairs and folk festivals and things like that, and she still sort of lives that way.
It just seems like she breathes music all day long, and that seems like total freedom to me. She was very inspiring to me for that. I don't know. It's so funny, [what] you're playing to me, I'm only hearing the left channel where I'm at. It's great to listen to these songs again with just one side of it, because I'm hearing things I haven't heard in a long time.
I can't tell why that would be. Could we just one quick second ask the engineer No, it's okay! Let's keep it. I wrote this with these two characters in mind, almost like they would be names, like "Pancho and Lefty": "Juan" and "Abel," but "Want and Able.
It feels like something that could be used as a theme for an idea about fighting against something else. And these two characters are talking to each other, and they aren't able to do what they naturally already want to do, or need to do. Outside forces are not allowing it. And these two characters are telling each other how they either have the chance to fight it or that they're unable to fight.
I think the left channel has a low vocal and piano, and the right channel is a high vocal and guitar. And they're completely separate from each other, so that if you just turn the knob either direction, you either hear one or the other. Let me just start it again, 'cause I didn't have the volume up. Those crows are coming from these old hunting records that I found. I found a portable record player from the '50s that you'd take out when you go hunting, and these are records that you'd play to get crows to come around.
There was a death cry of a crow, and a crow and a raven [or] a crow and something else fighting each other. So those are two different old records played at the wrong speed — they're played very slowed down, like 33 [RPM] when they're supposed to be 45's or something. Do you get to sit around, by yourself, and just play songs?
To either a room of no one, or to kids? I play songs to my kids quite often, to see what they react to, you know? I like to play music [I] recorded in the car to them, too, because they don't lie. They tell you immediately if something is good or not.
And that's a great place to be.
Spin December 5, Rolling Stone February 22, Rolling Stone February 26, Spin January 6, Los Angeles Times April 1, Rolling Stone April 1, NME April 1, The Washington Post June 9, Time April 1, Billboard April 1, MTV April 1, NPR May 20, Rolling Stone May 16, The A.
Club June 10, Entertainment Weekly June 18, NME June 6, Pitchfork June 9, Rolling Stone June 10, Spin June 10, Los Angeles Times June 11, Alternative Press June 3, Prometheus Global Media December 31, Hung Medien. Sessions for the album began in during gaps in touring for White's Blunderbuss album.
It's definitely several. Like you heard in Blunderbuss , there're many styles there. I don't pick my style and then write a song. I just write whatever comes out of me, and whatever style it is what it is, and it becomes something later. The Vault, Third Man's exclusive fan club subscription service, released a limited-edition version of the album on blue-and-white vinyl. It was packaged with a page hardcover book, a fold-out poster, a National Archives photo that appears throughout the album art, and a 7-inch featuring demo versions of two songs recorded in Mexico, "Alone in My Home" and "Entitlement", the finished versions of which appear on the album.
Side one has a glossy finish, is cut to play from near the label to the outer edge, and ends in a lock groove. Side two has a matte finish, a song "Just One Drink" that has two different intros depending on where the needle is dropped, another lock groove at the end of the side, and a hand-etched hologram of an angel by Tristan Duke of Infinity Light Science which appears in the dead wax at a certain angle to the light when it's being played. It also includes a download card for the songs on the album.
Songs on the album were inspired, in part, by short stories and plays written by White when he was 19 years old. The character who's singing this song is bragging about himself, but he's actually bragging about real things he's actually accomplished and real things that he actually does, not imaginary things or things he would like to do. Lazaretto was widely acclaimed by contemporary music critics. At Metacritic , which assigns a normalized rating out of to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 80, based on 46 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".
Deusner remarked: " Lazaretto makes all of his other projects sound a bit scrawny by comparison. Randall Roberts of the Los Angeles Times described the album as "lyrically and musically challenging and filled with many fresh avenues of exploration, even as it nods to key tones and ideas from throughout the history of pre-rap American music.
Lazaretto debuted at number one on the Billboard chart, selling , copies in its first week. The vinyl LP sold 40, copies, which set the record for the most vinyl sales in one week for an album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in ; the album held the record for seven years before it was broken by Taylor Swift 's Evermore in May Downloads were In , it was awarded a double gold certification from the Independent Music Companies Association ,  which indicated sales of at least , copies throughout Europe.
Personnel adapted from Lazaretto liner notes. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Jack White. Retrieved May 16, Third Man Records. Retrieved February 11, Retrieved April 1, Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 18, Rolling Stone. February 22, Retrieved June 4, Los Angeles Times. April 1, The Washington Post. June 9, Retrieved June 11, May 16, Retrieved December 19, Retrieved June 13, The A. The Daily Telegraph. Entertainment Weekly. The Guardian.
Retrieved June 9, The Independent. Archived from the original on March 4,
Rolling Stone April 1, NME April 1, The Washington Post June 9, Time April 1, Billboard April 1, MTV April 1, NPR May 20, Rolling Stone May 16, The A. Club June 10, Entertainment Weekly June 18, NME June 6, Pitchfork June 9, Rolling Stone June 10, Spin June 10, Los Angeles Times June 11, Alternative Press June 3, Prometheus Global Media December 31, Hung Medien.
Media Control. Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Official Charts Company. The Official Charts Company. The Washington Post. June 9, Retrieved June 11, May 16, Retrieved December 19, Retrieved June 13, The A.
The Daily Telegraph. Entertainment Weekly. The Guardian. Retrieved June 9, The Independent. Archived from the original on March 4, ISSN X. Retrieved June 10, Alternative Press. USA Today. ISSN The Oakland Press. Retrieved June 1, Retrieved January 1, Retrieved July 4, Retrieved April 11, Hung Medien. Retrieved June 20, SNEP - France.
Media Control. Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Archived from the original on March 21, Retrieved June 19, Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Official Charts Company. ARIA Charts. Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved January 7, Retrieved January 15, Retrieved January 16, Music Canada.
Music Week. British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Acoustic Recordings — Authority control MusicBrainz release group. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file.
Lazaretto is the second studio album by Jack White. It was released on June 10, , through White's own label Third Man Records in association with XL Recordings and Columbia Records. The limited-edition "Ultra" LP features hidden songs, secret. Lazaretto is the second studio album by Jack White. It was released on June 10, , through White's own label Third Man Records in association with XL. Listen to Lazaretto on Spotify. Jack White · Album · · 11 songs.