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Jack White|Entering Heaven Alive

Entering Heaven Alive

Jack White

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Released three months after Fear of the Dawn, Jack White's latest isn't so much a sequel as a completely different beast. If Fear was his Black Sabbath record, Entering Heaven Alive is his low-key, often acoustic Led Zeppelin era. The "Going to California" and "Over the Hills and Far Away" vibes are strong, and it's kind of wild how much White sounds like Robert Plant on these songs. (The title, White has said, draws biblical inspiration from the story of the prophet Elijah going to heaven without dying.) It's also the "quieter" record, but hardly quiet. "All Along the Way" is medieval folky—delicate and mysterious but not twee; in fact, the bridge majorly flexes muscle. "I've Got You Surrounded (With My Love)" starts off swampy before an electric guitar slices through the thick humidity and the whole thing rolls into a Chicago-style blues-funk strut. Excellent opener "A Tip from You to Me" is a full-on embrace of '70s classic rock and an intriguing mix of Zeppelin, the Band and Leon Russell-style piano. It also encapsulates the stubbornly independent, kinda morose, world-against-me lyrical bent White traffics in more and more: "Ask yourself if you are happy/ Then you cease to be/ That's a tip from you to me … Now I know for sure/ I don't need nobody's help now anymore." "Please God, Don't Tell Anyone" is a gothic, not goth, litany of regrets and dread ("Please God … don't show anyone all the idiot things that I've done"). As on Fear of the Dawn, White bares some surprisingly playful eccentricities. With its fairytale strings and piano, "Help Me Along" channels Yellow Submarine-era Beatles via a funny little melody, like a tugboat bobbing on the waves. "A Tree On Fire From Within" sounds at once ominous and uplifting, cruising on a groovy bass line and piano runs. And "Queen Of The Bees" is a high-drama love song with a swirly garage-psych melody—marimba!—and some of the most impish lyrics White's ever written: "Pass me the bread and the brown sugar too/ And I'll butter your bread … I want to hold you like a sloth hugs a tree."(Perhaps it's a tribute to Black Belles singer Olivia Jean, White's longtime girlfriend who he proposed to and married at a concert earlier this year.) White has admitted, "I was challenging myself to sort of see what I could get away with! If you went back when I was 25 and said, 'Would you write lyrics about buttering toast?' I would say, 'Never, I would never do that!'" Bookending the project, he revives Fear's heavy-as-all-get-out opener "Taking Me Back" here as closer "Taking Me Back (Gently)," a jazzy steampunk version recorded on 1930s equipment. The revamp feels like an Appalachian-ized Charleston and may be totally unnecessary—it's hard to imagine it becoming a live staple—but White certainly leaves you thinking. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz

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Entering Heaven Alive

Jack White

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1
A Tip from You to Me
00:02:42

Jack White, Composer, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - Bill Skibbe, Mixer, Engineer - Joshua V. Smith, Mixer, Engineer - Published by Third String Tunes (BMI), Administered by Songs of Universal, Inc. (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Third Man Records (P) 2022 Third Man Records

2
All Along the Way
00:03:52

Jack White, Composer, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - Bill Skibbe, Mixer, Engineer - Joshua V. Smith, Mixer, Engineer - Inc. (BMI), MusicPublisher - Administered by Songs of Universal, MusicPublisher - Published by Third String Tunes (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Third Man Records (P) 2022 Third Man Records

3
Help Me Along
00:04:46

Jack White, Composer, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - Bill Skibbe, Mixer, Engineer - Joshua V. Smith, Mixer, Engineer - Published by Third String Tunes (BMI), Administered by Songs of Universal, Inc. (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Third Man Records (P) 2022 Third Man Records

4
Love is Selfish
00:02:52

Jack White, Composer, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - Bill Skibbe, Mixer, Engineer - Joshua V. Smith, Mixer, Engineer - Published by Third String Tunes (BMI), Administered by Songs of Universal, Inc. (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Third Man Records (P) 2022 Third Man Records

5
I've Got You Surrounded (With My Love)
00:04:24

Jack White, Composer, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - Bill Skibbe, Mixer, Engineer - Joshua V. Smith, Mixer, Engineer - Published by Third String Tunes (BMI), Administered by Songs of Universal, Inc. (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Third Man Records (P) 2022 Third Man Records

6
Queen of the Bees
00:02:30

Jack White, Composer, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - Bill Skibbe, Mixer, Engineer - Joshua V. Smith, Mixer, Engineer - Published by Third String Tunes (BMI), Administered by Songs of Universal, Inc. (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Third Man Records (P) 2022 Third Man Records

7
A Tree on Fire from Within
00:02:59

Jack White, Composer, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - Bill Skibbe, Mixer, Engineer - Joshua V. Smith, Mixer, Engineer - Published by Third String Tunes (BMI), Administered by Songs of Universal, Inc. (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Third Man Records (P) 2022 Third Man Records

8
If I Die Tomorrow
00:02:59

Jack White, Composer, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - Bill Skibbe, Mixer, Engineer - Joshua V. Smith, Mixer, Engineer - Published by Third String Tunes (BMI), Administered by Songs of Universal, Inc. (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Third Man Records (P) 2022 Third Man Records

9
Please God, Don't Tell Anyone
00:04:00

Jack White, Composer, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - Bill Skibbe, Mixer, Engineer - Joshua V. Smith, Mixer, Engineer - Published by Third String Tunes (BMI), Administered by Songs of Universal, Inc. (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Third Man Records (P) 2022 Third Man Records

10
A Madman from Manhattan
00:04:26

Jack White, Composer, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - Bill Skibbe, Mixer, Engineer - Joshua V. Smith, Mixer, Engineer - Published by Third String Tunes (BMI), Administered by Songs of Universal, Inc. (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Third Man Records (P) 2022 Third Man Records

11
Taking Me Back (Gently)
00:04:35

Jack White, Composer, Producer, Mixer, MainArtist - Bill Skibbe, Mixer, Engineer - Joshua V. Smith, Mixer, Engineer - Published by Third String Tunes (BMI), Administered by Songs of Universal, Inc. (BMI), MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Third Man Records (P) 2022 Third Man Records

Album Description

Released three months after Fear of the Dawn, Jack White's latest isn't so much a sequel as a completely different beast. If Fear was his Black Sabbath record, Entering Heaven Alive is his low-key, often acoustic Led Zeppelin era. The "Going to California" and "Over the Hills and Far Away" vibes are strong, and it's kind of wild how much White sounds like Robert Plant on these songs. (The title, White has said, draws biblical inspiration from the story of the prophet Elijah going to heaven without dying.) It's also the "quieter" record, but hardly quiet. "All Along the Way" is medieval folky—delicate and mysterious but not twee; in fact, the bridge majorly flexes muscle. "I've Got You Surrounded (With My Love)" starts off swampy before an electric guitar slices through the thick humidity and the whole thing rolls into a Chicago-style blues-funk strut. Excellent opener "A Tip from You to Me" is a full-on embrace of '70s classic rock and an intriguing mix of Zeppelin, the Band and Leon Russell-style piano. It also encapsulates the stubbornly independent, kinda morose, world-against-me lyrical bent White traffics in more and more: "Ask yourself if you are happy/ Then you cease to be/ That's a tip from you to me … Now I know for sure/ I don't need nobody's help now anymore." "Please God, Don't Tell Anyone" is a gothic, not goth, litany of regrets and dread ("Please God … don't show anyone all the idiot things that I've done"). As on Fear of the Dawn, White bares some surprisingly playful eccentricities. With its fairytale strings and piano, "Help Me Along" channels Yellow Submarine-era Beatles via a funny little melody, like a tugboat bobbing on the waves. "A Tree On Fire From Within" sounds at once ominous and uplifting, cruising on a groovy bass line and piano runs. And "Queen Of The Bees" is a high-drama love song with a swirly garage-psych melody—marimba!—and some of the most impish lyrics White's ever written: "Pass me the bread and the brown sugar too/ And I'll butter your bread … I want to hold you like a sloth hugs a tree."(Perhaps it's a tribute to Black Belles singer Olivia Jean, White's longtime girlfriend who he proposed to and married at a concert earlier this year.) White has admitted, "I was challenging myself to sort of see what I could get away with! If you went back when I was 25 and said, 'Would you write lyrics about buttering toast?' I would say, 'Never, I would never do that!'" Bookending the project, he revives Fear's heavy-as-all-get-out opener "Taking Me Back" here as closer "Taking Me Back (Gently)," a jazzy steampunk version recorded on 1930s equipment. The revamp feels like an Appalachian-ized Charleston and may be totally unnecessary—it's hard to imagine it becoming a live staple—but White certainly leaves you thinking. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz

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