Rather than putting out a conventional vinyl record, for his new album Lazaretto, music impresario and White Stripes frontman/guitarist Jack White has created what's been dubbed an "Ultra LP."
Working with his Third Man Records label, and United Record Pressing, both in Nashville, the Ultra LP features a "first of its kind" hand-etched floating hologram of an angel. Next, there are two vinyl-only hidden tracks tucked underneath the labels on each side. What's more, one of those tracks plays at 78 RPM and the other at 45 RPM, making this 180-gram vinyl release a three-speed record. Side A also plays from the inside out, and both sides have a locked groove that repeats a continuous loop of music. Dual-groove tech plays either an electric or acoustic intro for the song "Just One Drink" based on where the needle is dropped, but both meet up once the song gets going. The Ultra LP comes on the heels of another headline-making stunt by White in April, setting a Guinness World Record after tracking and releasing the album title cut as a 7-inch vinyl single in under four hours.
That all said, how is the music on Lazaretto? Lazaretto inhabits an exciting place in White's expansive discography as the follow-up to 2012's gold-certified international No. 1 Blunderbuss. Born the youngest of 10 children, raised in southwest Detroit and a resident of Nashville since 2005, Jack White is one of the most prolific and renowned artists of the past 15 years. When the White Stripes started in 1997 no one, least of all Jack, ever expected that a red, white and black two-piece band would take hold in the mainstream world. The release of 2001’s White Blood Cells thrust the White Stripes onto magazine covers as they captivated larger audiences through worldwide touring.
White opened the doors in 2009 to his record label, Third Man Records, where he has since produced and released more than 200 records in just over three years. His 2012 solo debut Blunderbuss was released on Third Man Records/Columbia, as will Lazaretto. We Cast Music describes Lazaretto's title cut as a "big, blistering blast with a killer groove. Pure Jack White."