Wanda Jackson: The Party Ain’t Over (Nonesuch/Third Man) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Wanda Jackson

The Party Ain’t Over

Nonesuch/Third Man

Feb 11, 2011 Issue #34 - Year End 2010 - Sufjan Stevens Bookmark and Share

It could be seen as a public service that Jack White’s association with Wanda Jackson might bring renewed, widespread attention to the woman known as “The Queen of Rock” and “The First Lady of Rockabilly.” Few artists can still be seen as a real force of nature more than 50 years after the start of their career, and while her famous friend undoubtedly plays a significant part here, what matters most is that Jackson walks in and kicks ass like a prison-yard boss.

Her mission statement comes with the album’s first song. Anyone who’s heard the classic “Shaking All Over” countless times hasn’t heard it quite like this. Jackson coos and kills, sneers and soars, singing as though it never occurred to her to do anything different with her life. 

Jack White leads a rock and roll gang that manages to put the focus on Jackson while practically rebuilding the framework of old-school rock. Guitars are beefy but not overbearing, horns blare like an oncoming train, and the drums are splashy and hot. And between Jackson’s verses, White takes solos that serve to add just the right edgy touch.

Younger Rock and Roll Hall of Famers can pat each other on the back all day long, but as long as fellow Famer Wanda Jackson is still around to take them back to school with such tracks as “Busted” and “Thunder On the Mountain,” they’ll never be too old to learn. (www.wandajackson.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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