The title of Wanda Jackson’s new album boldly proclaims that The Party Ain’t Over, which may be true, but this is one party you want to skip.
Don’t get me wrong: I love Wanda Jackson. Jackson was a bold, unique female voice in what was a predominantly-male early rock ‘n’ roll scene. She is a true pioneer—and not just because she’s a woman, but because she is a rocking spitfire.
If there was any justice in the world, “The Queen of Rockabilly” would be a household name, and it seemed like Jack White’s involvement in her comeback record was poised to really give her some well-deserved visibility.
Unfortunately, White badly dropped the ball here. It is clear that Jackson’s raucous voice is still strong and powerful, but White buries it under superfluous horns and faux Vegas arrangements. There is more cheese here than in a Wisconsin grocery store. In the process of staging Jackson’s comeback, White makes her look like a has-been.
Jack White, you’ve got a lot to answer for.
(This rant/review—or as I like to call it, a “rantview”—was inspired by a brief chat about rockabilly with a pal last night.)