Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016

Jack White’s Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016 spans his many incarnations, as a solo artist and as a songwriter for bands—The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather. This double album, featuring White performing unplugged, reaffirms his gift for storytelling surrounding the human condition. “As Ugly as I Seem,” from The White Stripes’ Get Behind Me Satan (2005), offers his always stellar guitar work accompanied by former bandmate Meg White on bongos. It’s his raw, emotive voice, however, that steals the air—clear, naked, sometimes wrenching and plaintive. Listening to the high-quality, 180-gram vinyl version on my old record player (while enjoying the generous liner notes, lyrics and photos) makes White’s emotive voice especially resonant. Beck contributes folksy slide guitar on “Honey, We Can’t Afford to Look This Cheap” (2007 B-side), and included among the 26 songs are remixes of familiar tunes like The White Stripes’ first single, “Hotel Yorba” (2001), and a rich version of The Raconteurs’ murder-ballad “Carolina Drama,” from 2008’s Consolers of the Lonely.