Third Man Records
Words by Coco Le Sex Bomb
What’s better than a new release? A double release, of course!
A short while back, it was announced that we would not only get one, but two new albums from the infamous Jack White. The first, Fear Of The Dawn, was released early April promising an album full of all the distorted, modulated debauchery that Jack White fans all over had been missing so dearly, and did it ever deliver. It had all the fun grooves, humor and loud guitars a growing human needs. Begging the question how will Jack top this? What’s next? Will they interlock or stand alone? Too many questions, not enough time so let’s press play on Entering Heaven Alive and answer every last one.
The first track A Tip From You To Me kicks off, and I’m transported to long drives in the back seat of the
car with the Raconteurs blasting from my headphones. The sweet sultry harmonies blending with
acoustic guitar and piano definitely fill a void I didn’t know was there.
It flows into All Along The Way, following that sweet yet eerie theme you get greeted with Jack’s voice
and guitar alone. It doesn’t stay that way for long as the song builds and has twists and turns that are a
surprising yet pleasing little gift.
Help Me Along starts off with a stringed ensemble that almost teases a country vibe but twists into a
boppy, fun, lil’ diddy with a taste of early Beatles. It quickly takes a playful turn, and you can tell Jack had
fun with the layers on this one; it almost feels like I have fallen down a rabbit hole and woken up in a
wonderful garden with a trippy cat and a mad dude with a sick hat.
I think I’m starting to see the theme of the album coming into Love Is Selfish. I feel like these are all the
ballads to love, and love lost compiled. Love is selfish is another sweet serenade with Jack and his guitar
singing and playing his heart out.
Just like that, stuff gets funky with I’ve Got You Surrounded (With My Love). You get greeted with funky
bass and rhythmic drums making me uncontrollably bop my head for the entire song, this track tips its
hat to the psychedelic rock and funky acid jazz from the late 70’s. With that sweet Jack White twist this
song is quickly pushed to the top of my daily playlist.
Queen Of The Bees keeps the fun rolling as more forgotten instruments have been dusted off for this
carefree, joyous stinger. I am really enjoying how the songs go from themes like love and loss and sweet
lullabies to fun and not to be taken too seriously, it really is quite pleasant.
Tree On Fire Within is the love child of a traditional blues song and a Christmas carol. It’s a little weird
but I love it. You have happy sounds in a minor key, and they invoke confusion, and emotionally you don’t
know where the song stands. The lyrics only back up these themes as this song is a tale of how confusing
the journey of love can be, and how things aren’t always what they seem.
If I Die Tomorrow could be an unofficial reprise of Jack White and Alisha Keys’ bond song Another Way
To Die. With the chord progression being so similar and the themes going hand in hand, I feel like
without knowing it, Jack has composed the yin to his yang. Another way to die talks about the spy with
swagger who is always the coolest guy in the room yet if I die tomorrow talks about when the cool spy is
all alone in said room.
Please God Don’t Tell Anyone rocks back and forth like the pendulum of a grandfather clock and is a
song I can see being a huge sing along anthem around a campfire as people sing and strum louder and
louder as the night gets more blurry. This track is a classic example of how simple chords can be so compelling and simplicity is more often than not, the key.
Madman From Manhattan is a mysterious groove machine of a beat poem. Jack paints a picture that
even the blind can see while telling a story like few others can while you get transported behind the
eyes of a madman as he goes about his daily madness.
I talked about a reprise before, but Jack has decided to make the final track a bluegrass version of
Taking Me Back from Fear Of The Dawn, tying the two albums together beautifully. I can’t seem to take
a smile off my face as this version is playing, and the only downside is now I have to pick a favorite out of
the two, nope, I can’t, they are both great.
With the many different styles and genres Jack White has tackled over the years, he really does have
something for everyone. Entering Heaven Alive covers the sweeter, lighter, tame side of Jack. That’s not
to say you don’t get all the attitude, humor and fun that he is well known for. You get plenty here, and it is the sweet sibling to the evil twin accentuated by Fear Of The Dawn.
And, not surprisingly, they complement each other beautifully.
Although HEAVY values and respects the wisdom of our team when it comes to album reviews, we STRONGLY urge you to listen yourself before you decide. What we love may not be for you and what we don’t appreciate might be right up your alley.
Trust no-one except yourself when it comes to music.
That’s why it is so damn beautiful!!!!