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BWW Album Review: Lena Hall's OBSESSED: Jack White Channels Raw Punk Grit and Heart

BWW Album Review: Lena Hall's OBSESSED: Jack White Channels Raw Punk Grit and Heart
Cover art courtesy of SKB Records.

Lena Hall kicks the seventh month into overdrive with her OBSESSED: Jack White. This four-track gem contains songs from the singer and songwriter that many remember as the lead singer and guitarist for The White Stripes. This solid collection of tunes is delightfully guitar heavy and features Hall beautifully alternating between her signature raucous vocalizations and softer, almost-country stylings.

The EP kicks off with an extremely faithful, albeit acoustic, iteration of "Fell in Love with a Girl." This stripped-down version does no harm to the raw, punk urgency of the lyrics and vocal line, which Hall pristinely embodies as she nimbly dances her way through the rapid-fire syncopations. Also, hearing this song sung by a female adds a refreshing layer of queerness to the beloved chart-topping hit to make the song feel newly alive. From Hall, it carries an electrical current that flies in the face of the resurging conservatism that surrounds us.

The remaining three songs are Jack White tunes that I've never heard the originals of. Yet, Hall's iterations are so full of heart and verve that I know the originals must be masterful since they have inspired such brilliant music to flow from her, Justin Craig (guitar / keys), and Matt Duncan (bass / keys / sax). "Blunderbuss" features a country-like lilt, and Hall's emotional vocal line sounds like a close friend telling you a captivating story of a love that defied social norms. Hall's gravelly and raw instrument reigns supreme on "Would You Fight For My Love?," where she fills the track with seductive demands that listeners will feel compelled to succumb to. The EP closes with "Love Interruption," which vacillates back to a country-adjacent lilt. Sonically, Hall channels the gritty but heartfelt spirituality of singers like Janis Joplin, making it feel like a throwback while also making it feel surprisingly new.

Lena Hall's OBSESSED: Jack White was released by SKB Records and can be purchased at www.LenaHallObsessed.com. The EP is also available on all digital and streaming platforms.

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