It is safe to say that Jack White has done it again. With a seemingly never-ending outpouring of great album after great album his latest venture with The Dead Weather closely follows suit. “Sea of Cowards,” the sophomore album from the four-piece composed of Jack White, Alison Mosshart, Dean Fertitia, and Jack Lawrence, is to The Dead Weather what “Consolers of the Lonely” was for The Raconteurs: the better-written, produced and more thoughtful answer to the band’s first effort. From end to end “Sea of Cowards” has head-bobbing grooves supported by White on drums and Lawrence on bass, addictive melodies supported by Fertitia’s keyboard and guitar, and dark and soulful vocals by both Mosshart and White. Often times it’s hard for the listener to distinguish between the two singers, which adds to the power behind each vocal line and the harmonies between the two.
The first 4 tracks of the album, “Blue Blood Blues,” “Hustle and Cuss,” “The Difference Between Us,” and “I’m Mad” flow seamlessly. The strongest of the 4 songs clearly being “The Difference Between Us.” Although this creates an almost second-nature type listening experience, it also gives the sense that White and crew have decided to jam their way through the beginning of the album, leaving the song structure to the music gods. But fear not, the band puts an end to this flow with the heavy hitter “Die By the Drop,” a song driven by Lawrence’s dirty bass reminiscent of “Treat Me Like Your Mother” supported by an equal parts haunting/groovy/funky Fertitia guitar line. “Die By the Drop” is the perfect appoggiatura to the closing six songs, which are capped off with “Old Mary,” a dark, and even Gothic sounding end to this opus.
Die By The Drop
For the listeners who are looking for the classic “Jack White sound,” there are ample amounts of whammy pedal-driven guitar solos (note “I Can’t Hear You” and “Looking At the Invisible Man“) that remind us of where Jack White came from with The White Stripes. The magnificence of this album lies in the ability of one to give about 5 or 6 consecutive listens without any of the songs tiring and, if anything, humming all of the songs in concession even hours after you’ve put the record away. When the music stops, though, there are no doubts that everything Jack White touches turns to gold.
Colin RyanJust Published: