The Raconteurs- Consolers Of The Lonely (Warner Bros.)

Featured — By on April 8, 2008 at 8:04 pm

Here, I’ll just come out and say it: Consolers Of The Lonely by The Raconteurs is the worst album that Jack White of The White Stripes has ever been associated with. That being said, it’s really not that bad. The Raconteurs, if you’re not familiar with them, feature Mr. White and softy solo artist Brendan Benson, along with Patrick Keeler and Jack Lawrence from The Greenhornes, a fine band from Detroit. The ’Teurs introduced themselves with the outstanding Broken Boy Soldiers two years ago, and wowed us with their mixture of classic pop/rock with 60’s trippiness.

This, of course, ups the ante for Consolers and unfortunately it can’t quite meet the standard. Almost entirely gone is the psychedelic aspect, as the album seems to spend a bit too much of its time in the garage for its own good. Sometimes it works (“Attention”, “Salute Your Solution”), but a few times you’re left wondering if these are rejects from The White Stripes’ Icky Thump last year. Part of Broken Boy Soldiers’ greatness was the deviation it showed from the Stripes’ default bash/crash/blues rock, thus adding up to a side project that could stand aside and stand out. So again, the cream is in the curveballs- the best example being “Many Shades Of Black”, a classic pop song with tasteful horns and a delightful, expressive Jack vocal. Sadly, an alarming portion of the album lacks the effort necessary to get its B-grade material across effectively. Still, it’s amazing how even a phone-in job from Jack White sounds better than the best intended, most considered efforts of many mere mortals. Let the countdown to the next White Stripes album begin!

RATING (1-10): 6

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