Aluminium - album review (5 stars)

Aluminium

Aluminium (XL Recordings)

CHAMBER BLUES

It is a credit to the quality of Jack White’s songwriting that the spare blues twangs of The White Stripes can be re-imagined as avant garde orchestral recordings. This is the challenge taken up by a clutch of the country’s finest young classical musicians led by Joby Talbot (neé The Divine Comedy), and the results are breathtaking.

There are florid splashes of Elmer Bernstein in ‘The Hardest Button to Button’, ‘Aluminium’ and ‘Let’s Build a Home’, creating the kind of dramatic sleaze that blew up in film soundtracks such as The Sweet Smell of Success. The majority of the tracks are culled from the first two White Stripes’ albums and part of the joy here is the recognition but it is also like enjoying the grime and shudder of Super8 and then experiencing it in cinemascope. Tremendous.

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