on 31 March 2008
I first saw the Raconteurs at Reading two years ago and was completely blown away by their set. I liked White Stripes before that, but this was much, much richer and more varied. It seemed as if JW had really found had found the perfect context for his mercurial talent...
So I bought Broken Boy Soldiers on the strength of the concert and was mildly disappointed. Sure, Steady As She Goes is catchy and Intimate Secretary or Store Boght Bones are terrific tracks but they kind of paled in comparison to the live performance.
So when Consolers of the Lonely came out, I wasn't entirely sure whether I really needed another Raconteurs studio album. However, the love of my life bought it for me and I will be forever grateful that she did!
The album is an absolute gem from start to finish. It is more varied and confident than SBB and it doesn't have a weak track on it. There are some standout tracks such as You Don't Understand Me, Rich Kid Blues and These Stones Will Shout, but really you'll want to listen to all of this over and over again.
One of the albums of the year without a doubt!
on 20 April 2008
I am a bloke in his mid forties who grew up in the seventies on a diet of music ranging from Cream to Joni Mitchell,Led Zeppelin to Nick Drake and David Bowie to Free.
I own 1000 vinyl albums and about 600 CD's. Do not write reviews on here very often as find most are written by people only interested in a particular genre rather than a love of complete range of music.
And now to the point. This is a truly astonihing record. The best thing i have heard in years. White and Benson have combined to create a mini masterpiece. Raw powerful blues based rock n roll.
People moan about it being derivative, but heh what isn't or ever has been?
From the kickass rock of Attention to the blues/soul of Many Shades of Black this has it all.
Come on Britich bands. We made the best rock and roll in the sixties and seventies. We can do again. Am i the only one bored with a string of mediorce post punk wannabees? Rather than listening to The Velvets,Gang of Four and Joy Division....put on some Cream,Stones, Zeppelin and this and make our music more interesting again.
BUY BUY BUY. You wont be disappointed.
on 30 December 2008
Jack White is a talent, no doubt about that. But so is Brendan Benson, it was always going to be fascinating to see how these two managed to combine their main product with this little side projects. On this album we see both sharing the song writing with a real Lennon/McCartney authentic vibe emerging.
Mixing the raw blues and rock with the unique delivery and song craftsmanship the album is a complete success and a real step up from the well received debut back in 2006. Starting with the heavy ladened rock "Consoler Of The Lonely" and "Salute Your Solution" the album begins in an energetic and excellent manner. The stripped down guitars and drums in "Consoler Of The Lonely" are reminiscent of the White Stripes and are wonderfully contrasted with Benson's lead lyrics. As on most of the album, the two interchange the duties of singing mid track. The listener is absorbed into the dirty Detroit sound, eagerly anticipating the next track.
The Raconteurs manage to produce a sound that very few bands in the industry currently can match, and have the confidence and swagger to produce a dynamic and unique sound. "Salute Your Solution" has wonderful crashing riffs, yelping high tempo lyrics and cracking guitar solos. A slower Benson inspired "You Don't Understand Me" led by piano comes in next, a real contrast to the opening tracks. A beautiful track with a rousing piano finish from 3:40, showing that the Raconteurs can hold back some of that raw blues energy that is ready to burst through.
"Old Enough" with the country feel and violin shoots in from yet another angle, the set of influences and the directions the album pulls in are so widespread that it never becomes to familiar and this is the real ingredient for this album's success. "The Switch And The Spur" includes trumpets and conjures up a western but full with the psychedelia of a band like The Coral, before the listener is whisked through a set of equally diverse and quality tracks. The album ends on a high with the Dylan-esque Carolina Drama, a wonderful murder mystery story told in the way only Jack White can tell.
This is an inspiring and ambitious release that can be played time and time again. Truly timeless.
I urge you to listen to Brendan Benson's solo albums if you like the more subtle and slower tracks on this album, it will prove this band isn't all about Jack White.
*** Like: White Stripes, Brendan Benson, The Soledad Brothers, The Greenhornes ***
on 23 June 2008
This is one of those albums I put on if someone complains that music 'is not what it used to be'. It is a rare moment where brilliant musicians and song writers find themselves in the studio at the top of their game. No pretensions. Pure, honest Rock and Roll. All the influences are there. Townsend, Page etc....
It's a shame the first single was 'I salute..' because this is the weakest on the album in my opinion.
on 13 April 2008
The first Raconteurs album was what I waited for: Jack White with a traditionally set-up band (not that the White Stripes are in any way incomplete, their great!). And it delivered what I hoped for in spades: immaculately written and enthusiastically performed, intelligent rock.
The new album - for me - takes it a step further. I agree with a previous reviewer in that it is a grower, less immediate at first than 'Broken Soldiers', and it is the better for it.
It is a great album (in my view at least), but one that becomes more rewarding with each listen. There is so much fantastic musical craftsmanship on display, the writing and production ingenious. As in many great current albums (eg Goldfrapp, Duffy, ...), there is a distinct 70's edge to it, though it always sounds absolutely contemporary, never dusted.
I cannot understand the reviewer calling it 'dull', there is simply nothing dull in it. The band is muscular, flexible, entertaining, competent, ...; obviously they had a whale of a time recording the album, and I could not think of a more unfitting description than 'dull'. The reviewer has in my view not grasped at all what this album is about.
The band is fantastic, I don't want to single anybody out. I love the drumming, though, always entertaining and with great drive and vision.
I also love the variety, these guys are just so full of ideas and to me it does not sound fragmented at all.
on 13 April 2008
This is just a quick review for the White Stripes fans that, like me, thought the first Raconteurs album was boring in places - this second album is absolutely superb. After about five listens, I can safely say that there is not a single duff track here.
Consoler of the Lonely - 4/5
Salute Your Solution 3/5
You Don't Understand Me - 5/5
Old Enough - 3/5
The Switch and The Spur - 4/5
Hold Up - 3/5
Top Yourself - 3/5
Many Shade of Black - 5/5
Five on The Five - 4/5
Attention - 5/5
Pull This Blanket Off - 3/5
Rich Kid Blues - 4/5
These Stones Will Shout - 4/5
Carolina Drama - 5/5
on 8 April 2008
I have to say that I agree with most of the comments from the previous 2 or 3 reviewers.For me Jack White can do no wrong and this is a much stronger,deeper and more textured album than BBS.Whereas that album was more instant this is a 'grower' and with most 'growers' is a better album.No real stand out tracks at first listen but no duds either and after a few listens the stand out tracks do come to the fore.From the excellent 'Attention' 'These stones Will Shout' and 'Rich Kid Blues' which has some very Daltry-esque vocals to the absoluttely superb 'California drama' this is an album that will survive many listens.The reviewer who said its almost a continuation of 'Icky Thump' is quite right just better muscianship from all involved (this is no one man band)sorry Meg!!
So keep them coming Jack,White Stripes or Racontuers,you keep making them and I will keep buying and loving them.
on 11 December 2009
The vinyl edition of this album sounds amazing, with everything sounding realistic and natural (except Jack White's distorted guitar of course). It just goes to show that with todays technology music with exceptional sound quality can be made when it is not aimed at ipod users. The songs on this album are generally very strong and represent a true partnership between Jack White's bluesy rock and Bredon Benson's melodic pop. The album explores an impressive variety of styles and is always interesting. It is also great to hear Brendon Benson sing melodically in a Jack White rock song and a great guitar solo in a Brendon Benson song. This is in my opinion the album of the decade but you will probably need the vinyl edition and a decent stereo to understand why.
on 5 September 2008
I never usually get albums on their day of release; what I normally do is wait for reviews and then go out and buy the album but with Consolers of the Lonely this was not the case. I applaud the raconteurs for bypassing the music press and just letting the fans enjoy the music without some high almighty critic clouding their better judgement. This album is another belter from Jack and co. The album starts off with the hypnotic groove of the near title track Consoler of the Lonely topped off with White's trademark solo we have all come to love. Before you have time to digest the opening song Salute Your Solution bursts in with The Raconteurs heaviest rock songs to date with interlude of a psychedellic keys giving you a moments breather before storming back into gear. You Don't Understand Me is a piano driven number reminisant of the 1960's. Old Enough has a Celtic influence first seen on Icky Thump with Prickly Thorn but with Brenden there the song has more melody and flow. Switch and the Spur and Many Shades of Black are more Benson orientated featuring brass sections first used by White on Conquest, once again Switch and the Spur has this psychedellic riff with lyrics concerning riders hallucinating and souls who trespass against us will be stung dead on site. Hold Up is a most punk like track on the album, while Top Yourself is pure blues to the full and one of the stand out tracks of the album. Five on the Five reworked from the 2006 tour to give fuller sound and Attention illustrates the talent of Little Jack's bass playing which on this album has been harvested more from the debut album. Pull This Blanket is essetially the weakest track and These Stones will Shout does sound like a B side but I'm nitpicking. For me the highlight is the last track Carolina Drama, as this album starts off brilliantly it closes with a story of murder with Jacks narrative being somewhat reminisant of Nick Cave's style of writing. Its just a beutiful song about such a dark matter. Simply this album is a must have and cements Jack White's postion as the greatest musician of our generation.
on 2 July 2008
In my earlier review of the first Raconteurs album, I said that I couldn't pick an outstanding track because they were all equally good. That effort was a solid and concise album - 10 short songs, plenty of ideas, and essentially it was veering towards pop rock. It sounded very different to The Raconteurs that I first heard at Leeds Festival in 2006. That band was awesome - big sound, tight performance, audacious musicianship... and on this record the Raconteurs have come to represent on record what they do as a live band.
Consolers of the Lonely keeps a lot of the pop sensibilities that the earlier effort possessed (vocal harmonies, singalong choruses), but it is very much more rooted in traditional American rock n' roll... and by that I mean blues rock and country rock. It looks like Jack White's influence has been allowed to develop a little further, with songs like "You Don't Understand Me" and "Top Yourself" sounding very much like White Stripes songs - but with more instrumentation.
This is a solid album - tight, inventive, passionate - but unlike it's predecessors it does contain some standout tracks, and as a result that means there are also some weaker tracks. "Consoler of the Lonely" and "Salute Your Solution" start the record in a storming fashion, but I tend to find that a kind of lethargy sets in for a long while after that. Some inspired playing still crops up from time to time, but I could take or leave all the other tracks - with the exception of the last track, "Carolina Drama". That one stands out a mile. Awesome performance on Jack White's part. He delivers each line with passion, and creates a beautifully visual story, voicing the parts of several characters - the boy, the boyfriend, the mother, the little brother - in a way I first heard in Eminem's "Stan", and last heard in Ghostface Killah's "Maxine" (- I know!); it's a real goosebumps moment.
Elsewhere I find "Many Shades of Black" to be pompous and overblown, and definitely the weakest offering on the album. Also disappointingly, White's voice sounds off-key in "Five On The Five", a song that I have a much better recording of from the band's appearance at the Manchester Apollo.
So in summation, I think this record could have been trimmed down a little. I sure am thankful for the songs that standout, and must admit that the other tracks are worthwhile in general - whether it be for a certain horn part, a guitar solo, a drum fill or a vocal harmony - I just don't think it's one that I'll return to as often as I did to "Broken Boy Soldiers". I can't help thinking that the brilliance of "Consoler of the Lonely", "Salute Your Solution" and "Carolina Drama" only serve to make the other songs pale in comparison.
Best album of the year? I doubt it. Let's just say I'll be disappointed if I don't hear a better record this year.