Okay, let’s address the elephant in the room… Entering Heaven Alive is the first Jack White solo album without the color blue on the album cover. Fans have become accustomed to White’s monochromatic approach to visual art; it encompasses every major aspect of White’s universe. There’s red for The White Stripes, yellow for Third Man Records, and blue for White’s solo material. So, does the deviation in aesthetics mark a shift in direction for the coveted blues rocker?
Well, yes and no. In many ways, Entering Heaven Alive remains quintessentially Jack White. The songwriting derives from the blues and folk traditions, the guitar riffs are plentiful, and White’s specific brand of charisma comes through on every song.
On the other hand, never has White played it so mellow for this long. He’s always incorporated elements of folk rock and, even in The White Stripes days, has never been shy about including an acoustic cool down amid his garage rock ragers. Yet, just as April’s Fear Of The Dawn fully embraced his loudest, most boisterous tendencies, Entering Heaven Alive sees the current Consequence cover star calmer than ever before.
And, of course, he’s successful, as if that’s an unexpected accomplishment for the guy who penned “We’re Going to Be Friends” and The Raconteurs’ “Old Enough.” Despite having none of the studio flashiness or digital trickery of its counterpart, Fear Of The Dawn, Entering Heaven Alive is just as consistent, rewarding, and — miraculously — fun.
The album kicks off with “A Tip From You To Me,” an upbeat, piano-accentuated track that falls somewhere between the ballads of Led Zeppelin and Ben Folds Five. The song establishes the tone for the rest of the record, announcing that while it’s undoubtedly going to be a smoother ride than his previous two LPs, the songs will remain strong and energetic.