Jack White, “Sixteen Saltines”
“Sixteen Saltines” finds Jack White in full-on White Stripes rocker mode: the riff and vocals falls somewhere between “Blue Orchid” and “Hardest Button To Button” as White pines for some woman he knows isn't good for him. It's not unfamiliar territory, but, White's songwriting rarely disappoints, and here it's as engrossing as ever, unlike …
The Shins, “Simple Song”
James Mercer and the Shins have been retracing the map of their first two albums for, well, two more albums now, and the blueprint is showing through clearer than ever: over little stabs of guitar and big drums, Mercer's voice carries lyrics of magical realism and shrewd observation, buoyed along big, simple catchy rhythm. Maybe the rest of Port of Morrow charts some new directions, but this, its first foot forward, feels like another retread.