Consolers of the Lonely

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 1, 2008 11:22am | Post a Comment

You know how it feels when you listen to a new album and it gives you chills up your spine and that feeling in your throat?  Well, that’s how The Raconteurs' new album Consolers of the Lonely makes me feel.  It’s sooooo good!!!  The first thing I noticed that was somewhat different was the general feeling of the album: comfortable and relaxed.  Now, I don’t mean the music sounds comfortable and relaxed-- the band does.  There was a feeling of excitement surrounding the last album, Broken Boy Soldiers, since it was the first time these old friends had recorded an album together.  This time around, they know exactly what they are doing and have evolved into the next level.  They must have been enjoying themselves because the album is quite long considering the length of the previous album.  55+ minutes and 14 songs as compared to 33+ minutes and 10 songs.

It’s exciting to hear the Nashville influence on this album.  After Detroit turned on Jack White, he moved down to Nashville, as did Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler.  “Top Yourself” and “Old Enough” particularly capture a southern country/blues feel, which is different than the more typically northern sound that was on their previous album.  There is more acoustic guitar in these songs and some banjo and fiddle too, and I can picture these ol’ boys hanging around on the porch in the evening warmth just finger pickin’ these songs and enjoying themselves.

But let’s not forget how rockin’ these blokes can be as well.  The first two tracks, “Consolers of the Lonely” and “Salute your Solution” are those upbeat, jump-around-the-living-room rockers that keep me coming back again and again.  “Five on the Five” is one of the older new songs--  when they played Amoeba SF back in June ’06, they added this song to the set list, and it was one of my favorites them, just as it is now.

Considering The Raconteurs are composed of pop songwriter Brenden Benson and members of The Greenhornes, they pretty much can be considered the biggest super-group around!  It is refreshing that the whole is even greater than the sum of its parts, and baby, this is one amazing group.  Jack White and Brendan Benson harmonize so well together; it’s reminiscent of Paul McCartney’s solo stuff.  My beautiful and wonderful friend/co-worker/roommate, Ms. Corrie put it well when she said that she can hear a lot of 70’s classic rock in Brendan’s songs.   She also noticed that the pitch at which Jack White sings, well let’s just say it does crazy things inside her brain.  We will never know what possesses him while he’s playing, but I, too, love his voice.  Jack’s voice is abrasive in a way, just as Brendan’s is smooth.  They make good counter points for one another. 

Finally, the artwork and layout cannot go unmentioned.  Noted rock photographer Autumn de Wilde created beautiful, old-timey looking images for the cover and inside the book.  The vinyl is a triple-gatefold, double record package with BeatlesWhite Album-esque photos of each band member.  Be sure to check out the first music video for the album on the Raconteurs website, which was directed by-- you guessed it-- Autumn de Wilde. 

I live and breathe music.  It’s so important to me that I’ve spend the past 6+ years working in various record stores, going to as many shows as I can.  The Raconteurs are one of my favorite bands ever… EVER, and this is such a timeless album.  I truly believe that I can say that already.  It’s one hour of your life that will be so well spent!


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Jack White (32), Raconteurs (3), Autumn Dewilde (3)