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The Dead Weather’s latest album is worth the wait

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Matt Wardlaw

Four stars

The Dead Weather Dodge and Burn

Only Jack White truly knows when things are going to happen in his world, but this time with The Dead Weather—his collaboration with vocalist Alison Mosshart of The Kills, Dean Fertita of Queens of the Stone Age on guitars/keys and bassist Jack Lawrence—there were a few hints along the way. They released a pair of singles in 2013 and ’14 that have now been fleshed out with eight additional tunes to complete Dodge and Burn, the band’s first album in five years.

Despite the progressive birth of the project, however, it’s no hodgepodge, instead playing like The Dead Weather’s most satisfying and consistent collection to date. Its songs weave together an engaging set of stories, as Mosshart’s tantalizing vocals dance with the music’s gritty rhythmic base. She changes character at times, as during “Let Me Through,” where her voice gets creepy-crawly. And when Mosshart and White (the latter credited with “drums, percussion, some vocals, some guitar”) sing together, it’s staged in an interesting way. The pair takes a conversational approach on “Rough Detective,” while “Three Dollar Hat” features Jekyll and Hyde-pacing, with the mood shifting as each section completes.

There’s a lot to unpack and dissect here, and fans of elaborately constructed music should enjoy the imaginative journey.

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