Karen Elson

The Ghost Who Walks

Forget for a second that Karen Elson is Jack White’s drop-dead gorgeous wife. Or that she’s walked the runways for high-end fashion designers too numerous to name. Because it’s only then, free of all those well-connected-supermodel-turned-actress stigmas, that The Ghost Who Walks is able to shine. As a debut disk, Elson’s is a hands-down triumph, filled with the kind of rich country nostalgia that calls to mind the early careers of oldies like Patsy Cline and Nancy Sinatra, and newbies like Jenny Lewis and Neko Case. That said, it’s Ghosts’ instrumental arrangements that ultimately upstage Elson. Tracks like “100 Years from Now” score big thanks to their vintage-sounding organ and guitar swells, and the album ender, “Mouths to Feed,” is a sizzling mix of fiddles and cymbals that builds from eerie dirge to full-bodied rock out. As to whether those flourishes are Elson’s or White’s, it seems only time will tell.

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