Considering how simple and understated the song sounds Sugar Never Tasted So Good leaves an impression on the listener that it holds something special. For those of us who follow Jack White’s musical output closely you can see here how his rough blues-orientated brand of rock and roll could give way for more delicate songs which will go on to become more prominent in De Stjil, Get Behind Me Satan and most importantly his partnership with Brendan Benson. But compared to the poetics Satan or the clever pop dynamics of De Stjil this song is a much less intellectual effort by which I mean it forgoes thoughtful lyrical complexities for words of greater emotional depth. So it comes as no great surprise that Jack wrote this at the tender age of 19, or so the legend goes.
As you may have not noticed there has been a considerable gap between this post and the last one. The reason for this is because I was having troublle finding the main theme of what to talk about. At first I thought I’d discuss how we finally get to see Jack’s softer side but that seemed like an underdeveloped an obvious approach. There was an alternative angle discussing how the bands live interpretation of this song is a representation of a shared philosophy of live performances with Bob Dylan but that would have been mainly filler, bullshit with a tiny amount of worthwile observations. The reason I’m mentioning this is not for my own indulgence but to illustrate that Sugar Never Tasted So Good is difficult to talk about and I say that with the best of intentions.
It’s a song that compells and mystifies the listener. In a more naive state than the writer of later years Jack passes by a more self-conscious writing style to expose an honest and heartfelt song. The lyrics are often repetitive and never show a clear meaning and the fact that Jack never tries to intefer with this makes it more honest. It highlights his constantly spoken of search for truth. Speaking of how he develops his projects Jack explains that if something beautiful presents itself he believes he does not have the right to stop it or force it into something. While this is often taken as reference to the recording process you can see how it applies to the writing process as well. The song is unrefined and natural with all the emotion of it’s performer poured into it. In songs like these we can understand why Jack White is a soldier of truth.