Boarding House Reach is an album some way outside what one might expect from an artist who has spent the last 20 years exploring variations on a blues-influenced rock theme of fluctuating strangeness and complexity. A rigid, self-imposed set of rules governing everything from how the music was recorded, to what colour clothes should be worn while performing it, was part of the point.
Now, rules have gone out of the window. Previously an analogue purist, White cut and pasted Boarding House Reach together using a computer. There is talk of modernity and of “expanding his musical palette”. The album jumps between spoken-word tracks to warp-speed 70s cop show theme to silence, to bluesy sludge-rock, decorated throughout with the kind of ham-fisted sampled orchestral stabs popular in mid-80s hip-hop and early house tracks. At long last, White sounds as if he’s enjoying himself.