On June 10, Jack White will release his second solo LP, Lazaretto. Today, he has unveiled the album’s first music video, for the title-track.
Jack is no stranger to ornate outfits, although his suit in “Lazaretto” screams ostentatious. It’s not just questionable wardrobe choice on his part: he’s drawing attention to himself as a celebrity. Jack is on set. He mimes affected rock star movements in front of a mostly blank backdrop (likely a green screen). The lighting alternates brightness. The cameras wobble as they may during practice takes. The lower bodies of stagehands are even visible when his mic swings around and around. The product is a “sexy” modern music video, full of explosions, shattering glass, and fast, donut-spinning cars narcissistically marked with Jack’s gigantic signature “3.”
The video targets the trappings of celebrity. Jack is clearly behind glass: His spit trickles down a surface between himself and the viewer. Celebrities are at once protected as lucrative assets (cash cows) as well as on display like bugs for all to gawk at and dissect. Crowbars and baseballs are hurled, shattering his protective bubble. Bullets riddle the protective barrier, as the media, divorce lawyers, and “rival” musicians fire shots at White. His silhouette rocks wildly as his body lethargically goes through the motions; he’s not only finding it harder to be a gentleman – he’s finding it harder to be “Jack White.”
Jack is a prisoner in the lazaretto of celebrity. And although we see him leap through the glass in an attempt to escape, the video ends with a guitar-strapped figure (guess who) literally burning in his own hell.
Lazaretto is currently streaming in full on iTunes. Jack White will perform on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on June 9, the night before the album’s release, and his Governors Ball headline performance will be broadcasted via SiriusXM on June 7.