Cases in point are ‘You Don’t Understand Me’ and ‘Many Shades Of Black’, tracks on which Benson takes centre stage, and with the help of some undoubtedly Elton John-influenced piano parts (one gets the feeling Elton’s Seventies pomp-rock plays a part throughout this record, regardless of how intrinsically American it sounds), performs songs of such epic grandeur the BBC would consider casting a new member in a prime-time Saturday night television slot. Maybe.
It’s not all huge behemoths of tracks, however, as presumed lead single ‘Salute Your Solution’ displays elements of White’s previous outing, ‘Icky Thump’ alongside straight-up punk rock. Moreover, ‘Top Yourself’ is, in places, as stark as its title suggests, and ‘Rich Kid Blues’ is as post-ironic as it’s possible to get without twisting your morals in to a Spaghetti Junction’s (or should that be Western?) worth of traffic jams. Are they serious? Are they joking? Are they just taking the piss out of Hollywood’s new jet-set?
‘Consolers Of The Lonely’ is, therefore somewhat of a triumph: not only logistically, although doubtless those down the food chain at both Warner Bros. and XL certainly would’ve overcome numerous headaches following its release, but to create a second album which follows on both from the band’s first and White’s previous, all the while adding to both, and sounding precisely nothing like a second album should. If you’ve got a wooden porch and a rocking chair upon it, we’re already envious: this is perfect such listening for it.
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You can also see clips from their recent intimate performances at Coney Island Baby and Baby’s Alright.
Something if not greater, then at least as good as the sum of their considerable parts.
The record is released next week.
Sound problems mar the main stage, but a killer line-up wins through as The Strokes take on All Points East
The Raconteurs, Jarvis, Parquet Courts… you can’t argue with that.