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CD: The Dead Weather: Horehound

By Amy Longsdorf

Is Jack White the “Hardest Working Man in Show Business” or what? In addition to producing CDs for artists he admires (Loretta Lynn, Soledad Brothers, Greenhornes) and juggling two full-time bands (White Stripes, the Raconteurs), he recently put together the psycho-blues outfit the Dead Weather, with Kills vocalist Alison Mosshart, Raconteur bassist Jack Lawrence, and Queens of the Stone Age guitarist-organist Dean Fertita. But if the quartet’s debut CD “Horehound” is any indication, White might be spreading himself a little too thin.

The recorded-in-three-weeks disc gets off to a menacing start with four feral rockers fueled by gothic imagery and monster riffs. With Mosshart handling the vocals, “Hang You from the Heavens” and “60 Feet Tall” sound a bit like Patti Smith fronting the Bad Seeds.

The Dead Weather, featuring Jack White and Alison Mosshart.

The Dead Weather, featuring Jack White and Alison Mosshart.

But it’s all downhill from there. The hip-hop-accented “Treat Me Like Your Mother” is annoyingly bad and interminably long. Granted, the grinding “Rocking Horse” and the howling “Will There Be Enough Water?” have their moments but the remaining numbers ring surprisingly hollow. A cover of Bob Dylan’s “New Pony” is like hell on earth – and not in the way the band intended.

This time around, White’s black magic is in short supply.

Release: 7/14/09

Official Site:

[Amy Longsdorf’s entertainment coverage has appeared in “Blender,” “People,” the “Chicago Tribune,” the “Toronto Star,” and “Newsday.” She doesn’t want to imagine a world without Preston Sturges movies, Stax singles, and the music of Bob Marley.]

About Jenny Peters (164 Articles)
Jet Set Jen is the brainchild of Jenny Peters, a longtime freelance journalist whose career has spanned everything considered "Lifestyle" reporting, from movies and celebrities to fashion and fast cars, with plenty of food, wine and travel thrown in too. She currently contributes regularly to USA Today's,, New York Magazine, Coast Magazine, Bask Magazine and numerous other newspapers, magazines and websites worldwide. She is a founding and voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (, which annually honors the year's top films with the Critics' Choice Awards. Jenny and her crack cadre of reporters at Jet Set Jen offer up opinions, suggestions and insider scoops on the best that the world has to offer, to keep you on the cutting edge of that ever elusive pursuit of life, liberty, happiness – and fun, fun, fun.

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