There’s no doubt about Jack White being a clever lad, a musical genius. He only doesn’t show it often enough. The last time was on »High Ball Stepper«, a blues-rock-piece of four minutes, serving as a teaser for this second solo record »Lazaretto«. There’s something begging for mercy behind the guitar, which is shaving the rhythm. And we hear »Halleluja!« from the stands because he’s back: The Jack White who came up with »Blue Orchid«, »Ball & Biscuit« and »Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground« from scratch, who played like the devil himself in his Southern-state-chic. Unfortunately, the brute force from back then isn’t quite the same on »Lazaretto«. »Three Women«, for example, has too many bits of country, an organ and a piano casting a damp over its blues, while »Entitlement« follows that route all the way through and fully embraces its melody. It’s much quieter than the White Stripes’ early records, even though it’s still well balanced. However, what’s missing is one extra step, the one leading to inordinateness. In addition, »Lazaretto« is lacking Jack White’s usual humor; and so the record keeps rotating with a few real good tracks and a few mediocre ones and still fails to actually arrive anywhere. »Would You Fight For My Love?«, Jack White sings, »I’m getting better at becoming a ghost.« And what remains is the impression that a line like this used to make heads roll, while today everything follows the path that’s already laid out. Unfortunately, this record is lacking the madness that no genius can go without.