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Consolers of the Lonely

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iTunes Review

The Raconteurs’ second album reflects the group’s paradoxical interests in rough-cut rockers and their thoughtful appraisal of rock music’s storied history. This is, after all, a collaboration between the harsh modern blues of White Stripes’ Jack White and power-pop songwriter Brendan Benson. There’s studio chatter and feedback, tough shards of power chord guitars, and lots of sass balanced out with well-produced stereophonic guitars, tinkering keyboards, and layers of carefully leveled harmony vocals. The title track is deliberately half-baked, an unfinished riff reveling in its rawness, but “You Don’t Understand Me” is a heartfelt piano shuffle. “The Switch and the Spur” reflects a soft psychedelic twist with horns, quickly followed up with the early-‘70s guitar wah-wah and schoolyard chant of “Hold Up”. Slide-blues highlights “Top Yourself”, another ‘70s-influenced tune that along with the refried boogie of “Attention” and organ-driven Southern rock of “Rich Kid Blues” wouldn’t be out of place on a Black Crowes album, while “Five On the Five” goes for the trademark White Stripes garage-rock crunch.

Customer Reviews

A somewhat unexpected triumph

'Consolers of the Lonely', the sophomore effort by Jack White's side-project with Brendon Benson, 'The Raconteurs' could well be the finest garage rock record of recent years. While White's main project, the acclaimed White Stripes who have garnered critical acclaim and infinite popularity over the years, has sunk without a trace into obscure experimentation, White, with the help of his partner Benson, balances the experiments with real tunes. 'Consoler of the Lonely' is a great opener: a punchy 3.5 minutes of garge rock with a killer melody. 'Salute your Salution' follows a similar formula but is set to a more pacey, frantic speed and the guitars are a bit more aggressibe. 'You Don't Understand Me' is far-and-away the best song on the album; genuinely lovely balladry, with a sort of 50s soul-piano: it's the Jack White masterpiece that should have been on 'Icky Thump'. After that impressive opening salvo, there's still plenty of fun to be had: 'The Switch and the Spur' is a tense showdown; 'Hold Up' is a rocky, jaunty affair which would be a good choice for maybe second or third single; and then there's 'Rich Kid Blues', a straight blues exercise which is most refreshing. The only song which fails to impress is the meandering narrative of 'Carolina Drama', but other than that every song is a winner. A fantastic record by all means, and pleasingly better than the first. Download: Tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 12

Best Album in Years

Jack White is a genius! Just fantastic, theres country music, pop music, garage rock, piano. Superb album. Carolina Drama is the masterpiece.


An incredible album with great music and amazing lyrics. Carolina Drama is something else!


Formed: 2005 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A self-described "new band made up of old friends," the Raconteurs feature the White Stripes' Jack White and power pop maestro Brendan Benson on vocals, keyboards, and guitars, and the Greenhornes' drummer Patrick Keeler and bassist Jack Lawrence as the group's rhythm section. The idea for the band began when Benson and White collaborated on the song "Steady, as She Goes," which later became the Raconteurs' debut single. When the duo drafted Keeler and Lawrence, they became a full-fledged band. Recording...
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Consolers of the Lonely, The Raconteurs
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