Jack White has a rawness and edge that makes you want to know what he is going to do next. On the first note, I knew this album was going to be different from its predecessors. But when has Jack White ever been predictable? Fear Of The Dawn is a rock album like no other, which will stun you from the beginning to the end.
Formerly of the White Stripes, among various other acts, he has a long career in music and record production. An interesting fact is that he played all the instruments on the album. The multi-talented artist is known for experimenting with many instruments and musical styles, and the result? What I would call his best album yet.
Right off the bat, “Taking Me Back” grabs a hold of you with its heavy guitars and drums. With an insane amount of energy, it set the tone for songs such as “That Was Then This (Is Now)” and “Morning, Noon And Night”. He does not fail to incorporate different genres, even featuring a collaboration with Q-Tip, in “Hi-De-Ho”, which has rap elements.
This is not the only time that we see a break in genre, for synthesizers are featured in “The White Raven”, a cinematic masterpiece, while “Into The Twilight” contains dance elements. The album’s namesake, “Fear Of The Dawn”, moreover features electronic elements resembling sirens while still managing to be a banger. This just goes to prove his range both in instruments and vocals.
His soulful voice evokes deep emotions within those who listen to him. That was the reason a friend of mine recommended him to me, after all. And as usual, I was left wanting more of his voice that carries over various ranges.
Lyrically, he delves deep into love, not wanting the sun to come up and existential crisis, issues that many can relate to in this modern age. A particular duo: “Eosophobia” and “Eosophobia Reprise” complement each other melodically while bringing forth contradicting statements.
In “Eosophobia” he sings: “The sun/ goes down when I tell it to/ but the sun comes up when it wants to“. However, he contradicts those lyrics in “Eosophobia (Reprise)”: “You think the sun listens to no-one/ but you’re wrong it listens to me/ it listens to me now“.
I feel these two songs tell the story of a lover’s quarrel, with the protagonist thinking he can control when the sun comes up despite what the person he is addressing says.
It would not be a rock album without a softer, tearjerker now, would it? “Shedding My Velvet”, which explores a person revealing their true identity, I found that this song resonated the most with me.
It speaks raw truth unapologetically, leaving one with a lot to ponder over, as he had always done. This is further evidence that he is a master of lyrics that feature imagery and hidden messages that are up to the listener to decipher.
But it is not only his lyrics that are worth noting. The 30 seconds interlude instrumental, “Dusk”, is calming. A shift from the heavier songs, giving one perfect moment to go to a water break before you are launched into the energy-packed: “What’s The Trick?”
I could rave about all the songs if given the opportunity, but for you to know why I hold them in such high regard, you will have to listen to them. Overall, this album has stunned me, made me dance, and brought a few tears to my eyes.
He does not shy away from revealing himself in his lyrics or experimenting with different genres of music, with each new album different from the last. And his hard work has paid off, for it has amassed millions of streams on Spotify in the first two months.
If you are left wanting more like I was, then you will not have to wait long, because he will be releasing a new album on July 22 titled Entering Heaven Alive and you best believe I will be keeping an eye out for it!
Listen to Fear Of The Dawn below and purchase it in other formats here.
Words by Melisa Nyamukondiwa