As the name aptly suggests, ‘Taking Me Back’ is a return to form for White, featuring blaring guitar riffs, loud ass drums, and layers upon layers of White vocals squealing some quasi-nonsense over mountains of fuzz. It’s glorious.
White had previously gone experimental on his latest album Boarding House Reach, and ‘Taking Me Back’ still retains some of those elements like tape manipulation, synths, and a distinct maximalist modern edge instead of the stripped-down nature of The White Stripes. But those unmistakably Whammy-pedal infused riffs are vintage White, and he rears back with a furious melody
The electric version of ‘Taking Me Back’ is incredibly dense and all over the place in terms of arrangement. It’s fascinating, but also a lot to take in. If you want an idea about the song’s bones, White has also released an acoustic country version of the tune entitled ‘Taking Me Back (Gently)’ that more closely resembles his work on Blunderbuss. They are two incredibly different versions of the same song, but they’re two sides of the coin that is Jack White, so it’s cool to hear him gift us with both.
‘Taking Me Back’ is set to be featured in the latest iteration of the Call of Duty video game series, which is a bit of an odd medium for White to collaborate with. White’s team indicates that the song was already written before the video game asked for permission to use it, but it’s still strange to see “Jack White” and “Call of Duty” in the same sentence.
White hasn’t put out any solo music since Boarding House Reach came out in 2018. The last original music he’s put was with The Raconteurs in 2019 on their third LP Help Us Stranger. For someone as prolific as White, it’s been an unusually long break, but he’s hasn’t just been sitting at home.
White recently expanded his Third Man Records label to the UK with a new London office. Whether ‘Taking Me Back’ is indicative of more new music or just a one off, it’s good to have some more music from the guitar legend.
Check out both versions of ‘Taking Me Back’ down below.