Early synthesizers were supposed to imitate or re-create other existing sounds, but as anyone can tell you, they mostly sounded like synthesizers. That distinctive whine and wheeze captivated all manner of pop artists, from prog-rockers to classical composers to soul musicians. However, back then, synthesizers were so expensive and bulky, you needed a major-label budget and an entire studio wall to install them.
Long gone are the days of holding your lighter up in approval and rhythm with the ballad. Harmed by smoking bans and first displaced by the cell phone; the tradition has now further been done in by Coldplay and some lighted wristbands.
Blunderbuss, Jack White's first solo album, is not just about him. It's about characters, he says.
"The 'hes' and 'shes' and 'Is' are sort of all arbitrary," White tellsGuy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered. "Some of them fall in the blues context of just 'man versus the world' or 'man versus woman,' or something like that, but they don't really have anything to do with male or female."