Love is light in the darkness for many, and that includes Jack White
Singer Jack White released his fifth studio album Entering Heaven Alive on July 22, 2022. A quieter work with reflective lyrics, White spends the course of the album discussing his relationship with someone, as indicated by the title, in which heaven is the company and love of another. Love is, for many, light in the darkness, and that includes White on this album.
The opening track, “A Tip From You To Me,” has a melancholic melody. The lyrics contradict themselves in wishing to not be alone while also reveling in the independence that comes with solitude. This is made clear as White sings “I don’t need nobody’s help now anymore.”
“Help Me Along” is a happier song. The sounds of strings accompany lyrics asking for mutual respect and care. In this song, White promises his lover that he will give them “all that they need.” He shows that he wants to be a better person for them if they reciprocate what he needs.
The song “Love Is Selfish” uses comparison to describe the crazy thing that love is. The way that it makes one prone to a lack of control. The way it can absolutely obliterate any sense of order in the name of pursuing it. Love has no lack of regard for rhyme or reason, and in this poetic song, White describes it with beauty and eloquence.
“Queen of the Bees” takes on a more whimsical feel, with sounds akin to a child’s xylophone heard in the back of a guitar build and White’s voice. As sweet as a bee’s honey, White’s lyrics confess all he wants from his love, how he wants nothing but them, and wants everyone to know. However, despite all of this, he believes he might not be worth her time, as he claims that he is just “a fly on the wall and you’re the queen of the bees.”
“If I Die Tomorrow” is a softer song that references the scary parts about being in love. In this track, he is asking about commitment. Essentially, he’s asking will you be there not just for me, but for those who love me if they need you too?
“Please God, Don’t Tell Anyone” is a song about morality, with lyrics that conjure up that of “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” by Cage The Elephant. He asks for not necessarily forgiveness, but understanding. If one was stealing to help those who couldn’t help themselves, like their children, does that make it a crime?
The final track, “Taking Me Back (Gently)” is a folksy sounding, more gentle rendition of the song “Taking Me Back” as featured on his album from earlier this year, Fear of the Dawn. The song speaks to all that comes with forgiveness in a relationship.
All in all, this is a softer, calmer-sounding album for White, but it is done so beautifully. The album as a whole speaks to the complex and complicated nature of love, and the different facets of the human experience it brings about.