The album includes acoustic songs made famous by The White Stripes, beginning with "Sugar Never Tasted So Good" (originally found on The White Stripes' second-ever 7-inch single) and then lighting upon favorites like "Apple Blossom" and "I'm Bound To Pack It Up" (remixed here from the original recordings on 2000's De Stijl), "Hotel Yorba" and "We're Going To Be Friends" (from 2001's White Blood Cells), "You've Got Her In Your Pocket" and "Well It's True That We Love One Another" (from 2003's Grammy Award-winning Elephant), "Forever For Her (Is Over For Me)," "White Moon" and "As Ugly As I Seem" (from 2005's Get Behind Me Satan), "Effect & Cause" (from 2007's Icky Thump), and the Beck-produced "Honey, We Can't Afford To Look This Cheap," first found on the B-side to The White Stripes' final single, 2007's "Conquest." "City Lights" (below) was written for The White Stripes' Get Behind Me Satan but then forgotten until White revisited the 2005 album for Third Man's Record Store Day 2015 vinyl reissue and finished the recording in 2016. The track is the first new, worldwide commercially released White Stripes song since 2008.
Also featured are “Never Far Away” (recorded for 2003’s Cold Mountain soundtrack) and “Love Is The Truth” (written and recorded for Coca-Cola’s 2006 What Goes Around campaign) as well as the Bluegrass Version of “Top Yourself” and an acoustic mix of the epic murder ballad, “Carolina Drama,” both written by White and Brendan Benson for The Raconteurs’ Grammy Award-winning 2008 album, Consolers of the Lonely. White’s two chart-topping solo albums, 2012’s Blunderbuss and 2014’s Lazaretto, are represented by a remarkably diverse range of material including “Love Interruption,” “On And On And On,” “Blunderbuss,” “Entitlement,” “Want And Able,” and alternative mixes of “Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy,” “Just One Drink,” “I Guess I Should Go To Sleep,” and B-side, “Machine Gun Silhouette.”
The 26 tracks featured on Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016 were remastered by Andrew Mendelson at Nashville, TN’s Georgetown Masters. All songs were written and produced exclusively by Jack White, except “Never Far Away” (produced by T Bone Burnett), “Honey, We Can’t Afford To Look This Cheap” (produced by Beck), “Top Yourself (Bluegrass Version)” and “Carolina Drama” (written & produced by White & Brendan Benson), and “Machine Gun Silhouette” (written by White & Rob Jones).
As noted American author and music journalist, Greil Marcus, conveys in the albums liner notes: “The lack of electric guitar opens songs up to their own contrivance, and cuts out pretentions of seriousness and grandiosity in favor of the quiet, the ridiculous, the sly.”