“Missing Pieces,” the lead track on Jack White’s new album, expresses a theme of people taking a piece of you when they leave.  Now, after a career of giving more than just a piece of himself to a variety of musical efforts, White gives us all he has to offer on “Blunderbuss.”

For an artist who has been praised for so long on an individual level, it’s hard to imagine that White hasn’t released a solo album until now.  The beauty of “Blunderbuss” is that it takes his identifiable sound that has made so many albums whole and puts it on stripped-down, solitary display.

After breaking ground with The White Stripes for over a decade, White moved on to The Dead Weather, a darker, raunchier concoction that alludes to the old days of metal with a bluesy twist.  Along the way happened The Raconteurs, adding to the trifecta of White’s success as a freelance rock ‘n’ roll icon.

“Blunderbuss” further solidifies White’s place in modern history, as he continues to spin his unique blend of downhome blues and straight-ahead Detroit rock.  “Sixteen Saltines,” one of three singles from the album, brings the heavy-handed energy of a wide open Stripes-esque guitar riff.  Much of the album, however, makes use of piano, conjuring up a ballad-like feel on songs like “Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy” and “I Guess I Should Go to Sleep.”  Interesting things happen when these ends of the spectrum collide, whether it’s the slick segue of “Take Me with You When You Go” or the argumentatively-layered solos in “Weep Themselves to Sleep.”

With a name that alludes to a short predecessor of the shotgun, one might have expected a somewhat more eccentric collection of songs, considering the heaviness of White’s work with The Dead Weather.  Rather, the theme of the album’s first single, “Love Interruption,” suggests a more intimate weapon of choice, with White describing a type of love that will “stick a knife inside me and twist it all around.”  This is indicative of the type subversive darkness that seems to be something of a signature for him and is especially prevalent in the music video for “Sixteen Saltines,” which features a group of children in blue paint artfully executing his elaborate death.

Jack White’s type of blunderbuss may not be as violent as the real thing, but it is nonetheless a thing of power, just in a deliberate, blues-rock fashion.  As with nearly everything that this evolving artist gets his hands on, “Blunderbuss” creates an instant anticipation to see what’s next.