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Broken Boy Soldiers

4.4 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 May 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: XL
  • ASIN: B000EMSGL4
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,802 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

The Raconteurs are a new band made up of old friends, consisting of Jack Lawrence (bass), Patrick Keeler (drums), Brendan Benson (guitars, vocals, keys) and Jack White (guitars, vocals, keys). The seed was sewn in an attic in the middle of a hot summer when friends Jack White and Brendan Benson got together and wrote a song that truly inspired them. This song was "Steady, As She Goes" and the inspiration led to the creation of a full band with the addition of Lawrence and Keeler. While each of these four individuals have had successful careers with their own bands, the culmination of all of their talents is what truly makes The Raconteurs a force to be reckoned with.

The quartet convened at Benson's East Grand Studio to lay down the basic tracks for Broken Boy Soldiers. Work would continue whenever the boys could get together over the next year. The band is now, for its members, all consuming and they now present themselves to be consumed, or at best simply heard.

From the ready-made, radio-friendly quality built into songs like "Steady, As She Goes", to the explosive tenacity of "Store Bought Bones", all the way down to the "hits the cockles of your heart" lullabies that encompass the full length recording, The Raconteurs are more than capable of conquering any genre challenge or tale that they encounter. After all, a raconteur is, by definition, a deft storyteller. And now a new story is unfolding.

BBC Review

In forming The Raconteurs, four old friends from Detroit have done the unexpected, they've produced an irresistible and emotional album. This is no self indulgent side-project, Jack White is clearly enjoyingliving with the luxury of musical freedom. "You gotta to learn to live / and live and learn" he muses in "Together".

Standing quite apart from the strict minimalism associated with The White Stripes, this debut is contentedly uninhibited. Tracks hop deftly from Brendan Benson's trademark tender melodies on "Hands" to the quirky pop of "Yellow Sun", with stunning results.

The playful rhythms of "Steady As She Goes" lie in pleasing contrast to the empathetic, angry blues of closing track "Blue Veins". These stylistic twists and turns hold your interest throughout.

Broken Boy Soldiers is proof that The Raconteurs have stories worth telling. Are you ready for the next chapter? --Shalinee Singh

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Wow, we all love the White Stripes and especially Jack White's infectious and ground breaking idea's with music, I am fortunate to have already listened several times to Broken Boy Soldiers. This album truly takes him on another level (those who thought that possible after elephant?) To me the collaboration with already established band members has given Jack an added incentive to push the envelope further. His harmonies with Brendan are wonderful, this isn't just a Jack White showcase though, the influences are throughout from each individual member. Blue Veins being an old fashioned blues basher, Hands a decent late Beatles homeage and Yellow Sun wouldn't go amiss on any classic rock summer compilation. Each song is in a different style which only adds to the exquisite composition of the whole. This is THE album of 2006 and will be appreciated in time as one of the greatest ever recorded pieces of loveliness.
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Format: Audio CD
I think too many people are comparing The Raconteurs to other bands instead of viewing them in their own right. Yes, they sound quite a bit like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and, unsurprisingly, The White Stripes, but why are those automatically bad things? The Raconteurs do not have a very original sound, I'll admit that, but I couldn't care less to be honest. This is a great album full of great songs; that's all that matters. My favourite song has got to be "Broken Boy Soldier", which sounds like Rush performing a Fairport Convention song (I kid you not!) I'd recommend this album to anyone who likes 60s/70s rock bands like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Small Faces and The Doors.
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Format: Audio CD
To most people, The Raconteurs - or as they are known in New Zealand due to an old jazz band, the Saboteurs - will to most people be a side-project rather than a supergroup. This is because most people have never heard of power-pop solo artist Brendan Benson, let alone the Greenhornes, whose rhythm section provide backup to Benson and White Stripes man, Jack White. However, while to most it's not a supergroup, in practice it most certainly is.

Pooling their considerable talents, the Raconteurs combine to form something that's not really like anything the four men have done before. I have long said that were Jack White to recruit a proper backing band (or even a decent drummer) I would willingly buy the record that would result, and Broken Boy Soldiers is that record; what an album it is.

While by no means perfect - `Blue Veins' is terrible, and unfortunately closes the album - Broken Boy Soldiers is a brilliant written, short, sharp pop record. At 33 minutes and ten songs long, with only one duff one, it wastes no time. None of the songs last longer than four minutes, but each of them crams a ton of invention and brilliance into that time slot. Brendan Benson, with his clear, Beatle-like voice melds wonderfully with Jack White's faintly unhinged, Robert Plant-meets-a-mental-patient vocals.

This album is clearly a democracy between Benson as the pop classicist and White as the experimentalist. Benson's songs are the lush, charming numbers like the perky `Yellow Sun'; White's are the often sinister boogies like `Level.' When they combine their talents is where things really take off, with the albums handful of truly great songs.

`Steady, As She Goes' is the opener, first single, and first song the two wrote together.
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Format: Audio CD
After listening to this album straight through twice, I can honestly say that it lives up to the expectations I had after listening to the single and bits and pieces on the radio. It's fantastic, ranging in texture from rough (Hands, Level) through stippled (Yellow Sun) to satin (Together) The Raconterus have definitely not fallen over on this release.

Superb.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
GREAT SOUND !!!.......that a person who grew up with all the great artists of the 60s and 70s,...like myself... can REALLY enjoy !!!
REAL talented musicians....with NO "Techno crap"!!!....just SOLD "from the soul"music !!!!
It is getting harder to find music like this !....more up and coming artists should go back and search the old roots....something I think this band managed to do !
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Format: Audio CD
Wow! What a group! "The Raconteurs" is made up of Jack White of the White Stripes, with multi-talented Brendan Benson, and rockers Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler of the Greenhornes for company

First hit "Steady As She Goes" (White/Benson) is first rate material, offering some good advice on marriage - "Find yourself a girl and settle down. Live a simple life in a quiet town". I also like "Hands" with its stirring chorus of "When you're with me there's a life and I can see my way, when you speak to me it's a song and I know what to say". The title track is a rock masterpiece, with a little Middle Eastern riff and an Irish jig thrown in for good measure, and is followed by the humorous "Intimate Secretary".

"Together" takes the pace down to ballad, so you can catch your breath before the short "Level" and "Store Bought Bones" pump you up again. "Yellow Sun" goes acoustic, while "Call It a Day" and "Blue Veins" close off this excellent album on an introspective note.

There's just one obvious problem - its only ten songs long. Ten songs is all we get for this huge debut album - so play it often and make it last.

Amanda Richards
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