The Raconteurs - Consolers Of The Lonely

Songs of such epic grandeur the BBC would consider casting a new member in a prime-time Saturday night television slot.

Everyone knows the story by now. Jack White decides he wants to release an album in a week. And, a week following delivery of the masters to the label(s), Jack White releases ‘Consolers Of The Lonely’ worldwide. Yet it’s all too easy to forget: The Raconteurs isn’t just Jack White’s band. The creative contributions of back-seat members Patrick Keeler and Jack Lawrence may be negligible, but all songs are credited to Brendan Benson alongside White, and on the band’s second outing, it’s definitely where these two friends combine that the results are most pleasing.

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.

Tags: The Raconteurs, Reviews, Album Reviews

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