Music Review: The Raconteurs' Consolers of the Lonely

by Vincent Lee

The Raconteurs first album was one of the most talked about debut albums in recent memory. Their second album has generated similar uproar and discussion. Following Radiohead’s sudden release precedent, The Raconteurs announced the release of their new album Consolers of the Lonely only one week ago.

Consolers of the Lonely is definitely an evolution of sorts for The Raconteurs from their debut. From fiddles to horns, The Raconteurs use a number of different instruments to bring about a new sound. The sound of Consolers in general is busier and more layered than its predecessor. White Stripes fans and even those of the first Raconteurs album may question this new sound. The minimalistic Jack White is nowhere to be seen on this album. However, the signature killer guitar riffs and solos that make him one of the best guitarists in recent memory are not lost: White is here in his other guise as the pioneer of experimental rock anchored by a firm foundation of blues-rock and garage sounds.

This departure could be marked as a general all around success. All fourteen songs are distinct and solid. The flow from song to song is outstanding. That said, this album is not without its standouts. The opening two tracks, “Consoler of the Lonely” and “Salute Your Solution,” set the high energy mood for the album. Both greatly showcase The Raconteurs' “new sound” as well as evoking memories of what made Broken Boy Soldiers, the band's debut, so great.

The masterpiece of the album is the final track “Carolina Drama.” "Carolina Drama" is an insane tale rambling on about Billy, a priest, and murder that concludes with the bizarre singing of “la la la la la la yeah” over and over. Somehow, it works wonderfully.

Fans of The White Stripes and The Raconteurs' first album may be initially surprised by the direction of Consolers of the Lonely. Yet, this surprise should be a pleasant one. It is a superb album throughout that is bound to be one of the best albums of the year.

(Promotional photo of The Raconteurs from XL Recordings and Warner Brothers Records. The Raconteurs are set to open their North American tour in Vancouver, BC, Canada on April 20. As of yet, the band has not released any videos from Consolers of the Lonely. However, a video of "Level" from Broken Boy Soldiers can be seen below.)

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Hi iTz,

On behalf of XL Recordings and Warner Bros Records, many thanks for plugging “Consolers Of The Lonely” and The Ranconteurs’ pioneering, ‘fans-first’ release concept … .. it was a pity about the early leak via iTunes, but thanks also, on behalf of the labels and the artist, for not posting any pirate links.



Justin said...

good review. however, i feel like with the exception of about four or five songs on this, which is a fair amount, this record sounds a lot like a sub par brendan benson record.

i agree though that the first two songs are the best on the album. if the whole album had been like that...whew.

i am a huge jack white/raconteurs fan but i would give it 2 1/2 stars out of 5.

Sillysighbean said...

I bought TWO copies today, one for me and a friend who first introduced me to the band. I paid the 17 bucks and got the nifty booklet. Wooo hooo. I like the horns a lot and agree with your review. I will be beating this to death for a long time to come and hope to see them live someday.

Justin said...

i just think that both brendan benson and jack white have both done much better jobs with songs that incorporate horns and strings on their own songs than they do together.

Its stuff that really isn't that exceptional or new, which is fantastic for smaller bands but for a band with two excellent songwriter/producers it seems like they are treading water and very content with the product.

Rick Rockwell said...

Just a bit of a postscript for those who want to see video from the new Raconteurs release.

We have posted an update here for all to enjoy. Or you can go directly to the YouTube posting here.

I wonder what the copyright sheriff thinks about that, as it appears the band wants this video and single out there.

(And isn't the short form of our title really iVT? Or maybe iVTz?)

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