Jack White - Entering Heaven Alive

Regular price $ 26.99

Calling Entering Heaven Alive the acoustic counterpart to Fear of the Dawn, the album it follows by a mere three months, isn't quite accurate even if this designation illustrates the divide between the two records. Where Fear of the Dawn is coiled, nervy, and tense, an explosion of paranoia and dread, Entering Heaven Alive is quieter and contemplative -- the music that arrives after the dawn, as it were. Jack White does pluck and strum an acoustic guitar throughout Entering Heaven Alive, sometimes conjuring ghosts of the softest White Stripes moments, but the arrangements on the album are detailed, spirited, and, in their own way, as adventurous as their counterparts on Fear of the Dawn. Witness "All Along the Way," the second song on the record: it begins as a hushed folk tune and then takes a left turn toward prog-reggae on its bridge. The album is filled with little moments like that: the stiff funk of "I've Got You Surrounded (With My Love)" slowly, surely gets jazzier as it crawls on, while the mellow melancholy pop of "If I Die Tomorrow" cascades to a Baroque crescendo. These are surrounded by sly stylistic excursions, such as the plaintive, skeletal ballad "Love Is Selfish," the old-timey shuffle "Queen of the Bees," and "Taking Me Back (Gently)," which flips the frenzied Fear of the Dawn opener into a ragtime shuffle. The musical range is remarkable yet not flashy: the detours and rambles all feel as if they stem from a natural stream of consciousness. Entering Heaven Alive feels of a piece with White's previous work, yet the ideas are synthesized and executed in fresh, inventive ways, suggesting that the ungainly Boarding House Reach was indeed a transitionary album to allow him to do music that's as relaxed and vibrant as this.

1 A Tip From You to Me 2:43
2 All Along the Way 3:52
3 Help Me Along 4:46
4 Love Is Selfish 2:53
5 I've Got You Surrounded (With My Love) 4:24
6 Queen of the Bees 2:31
7 A Tree on Fire From Within 3:00
8 If I Die Tomorrow 3:00
9 Please God, Don't Tell Anyone 4:00
10 A Madman From Manhattan 4:26
11 Taking Me Back (Gently) 4:35