||URP Music Distribution
From the beginning Jack White insisted that the Raconteurs were a proper band and not just a White Stripes side project. The release of CONSOLERS OF THE LONELY, the second album by the band he co-leads alongside singer-songwriter Brendan Benson, bears out all parties' commitment to the project. From the very first cut (the title track), the varied musical personalities at work here are apparent, as the song moves back and forth between a streamlined, Benson-sung section and a slower, crunchier blues-rocking snatch of patented White work. That stylistic dynamic plays itself out in less blatant juxtapositions throughout the rest of the album. "You Don't Understand Me" is a classic power-popper replete with twinkling piano and smooth, layered vocal harmonies, while raw garage-rock stomper "Hold Up" leaps out with almost savage ferocity. The most rewarding moments may be the ones where White and Benson collaborate to create a fresh-sounding sonic paradigm, as on "The Switch and the Spur," a trumpet-punctuated epic that sounds more akin to a testosterone-enhanced Decemberists than anything else. Ultimately, White and Benson honor just enough of their respective pasts to ensure a vital future for the Raconteurs.