Broken Boy Soldiers Review

artist: the raconteurs date: 09/28/2011 category: compact discs
the raconteurs: Broken Boy Soldiers
Release Date: May 16, 2006
Label: XL
Genres: Pop Underground, Garage Rock Revival, Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Number Of Tracks: 10
It's brief and even a little slight, but it's almost as much fun to listen to as it must have been to make.
 Sound: 9.3
 Lyrics: 8.8
 Overall Impression: 9.7
 Overall rating:
 9.1 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.3 
 Users rating:
 8.8 
 Votes:
 104 
reviews (12) 50 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.7
Broken Boy Soldiers Reviewed by: davidgilmourfan, on may 18, 2006
5 of 10 people found this review helpful

Sound: When I first heard that Jack White had a new band made up, I thought "Awesome!" The band consists of Brendan Benson (vocals, guitars, keyboards), Jack White (vocals, guitars, keyboards), Jack Lawrence (bass guitar), and Patrick Keeler (drums). They are all old friends and this band started out in the summer in an attic. The sound that these guys have is awesome! Very retro, '60s, '70s. The guitar work on this album is great, the vocals (both Jack and Brendan) are very nice, and a lot of the effects, keyboards and drums are very creative and catchy. Very talented bunch! When I first heard the album I thought "Wow, incredible." If you want upbeat, yet creative music with a retro touch, check these guys out. The acoustic songs on this album are very Beatles-ish, some are Zeppelin sounding, and they even have a Jethro Tull-ish feel to them. The sound is awesome! // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics in this album really hit home for me. The lyrics are simple, yet effective and pleasing. Not too complex and not stupid. It is a well written album. The vocals on this album really enhances the songs and the lyrics. If you are not pleased with the lyrics, the sound of the music should keep you satisfied. As Roger Waters (singer, bassist, lyricist of Pink Floyd) is my favourite lyricist. // 9

Overall Impression: This album can compare with some old White Stripe albums (but with more instruments), some Led Zeppelin albums, Beatles albums and many other classic bands. All the members of this band loved classic rock. The songs that really stick out, for me, are "Broken Boy Soldiers," "Blue Veins," "Together" and "Store Bought Bones." The music, the lyrics, and the guitar work just amaze me. Great. I love this album, period. I don't dislike anything on this album. And, it is well worth the buy. If it got stolen I would probably cry, and then buy another one. Great album, I am very pleased. Good job guys! // 10

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overall: 9
Broken Boy Soldiers Reviewed by: eperk84, on may 18, 2006
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: To start off, for those of you who don't know who The Raconteurs are, it is a band that Jack White and Brendan Benson put together with Patrick Keeler and Jack Lawrence of The Greenhornes. I will admit I am a huge White Stripes fan, so I may be a tad biast. That being said, if you go into listening to this album excpecting another classic White Stripes style CD, you will be very dissapointed. Not to say that this isn't a good cd because I have thoroughly enjoyed it. There are several catchy songs with great choruses, but not really one definitive guitar solo on the whole album. A few very moody, great acoustic songs. The song that has really stuck in my head though is Blue Veins, the last track on the CD. It's a great little blues number, my only complaint is that it's not like 10 minutes long, because I wish it would go on forever. // 8

Lyrics: With Jack White and Brendan Benson writing the lyrics you know they are gonna give you some deep stuff. But there are some of your routine love songs mixed in. The way Jack and Brendan harmonize and sing backup for each other can range from eary, to down right beautiful. // 10

Overall Impression: Like I said, don't go in looking for a White Stripes style album. Take it for what it is, a good album with a style of music we just don't get enough of these days. It's worth a listen for Stripes fans and non Stripes fans alike. // 9

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overall: 8.3
Broken Boy Soldiers Reviewed by: DirtyFryBassGuy, on may 20, 2006
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: What is there to say about the sound of this album? It's different than what most bands sound like today, that's for sure. Look at the title track (Broken Boy Soldier). It sounds like some sort of eerie folk music, with an ominous drum beating in the background and some screeching vocals by Mr. Jack White. There's also the simplistic, power-chord songs such as "Steady, As She Goes" and "Hands". Then there's the slow songs, mostly written and sung by Brendan Benson. I'm not saying he's a bad guy or anything, I just think that some of the songs he did on this album, "Together", for instance, just aren't what someone who is buying the Raconteurs album would really want. Finally, there's the just plain odd songs, and that could be in a good way. The slide guitar and distorted organ of "Store Bought Bones", for example. There's something about the sound of this band that makes me think about classic rock. It's just there. I don't really know what to say about it except that it sounds like some late 60s, early 70s rock, or at least some of it does. // 8

Lyrics: Lyrics are almost too simple, really. Listen to "Intimate Secretary" and you'll know what I mean: "I got a rabbit that likes to hop/ I got a girl and she likes to shop." It really surprises me how simple these lyrics are. If you have ever listened to anything that Brendan Benson has written, you know why. It's the same with the White Stripes. They're just a simpler than I expected to be. But that's not bad, really. They're easy to sing along to, and have some sort of meaning. They also really fit well with the songs they are with. They just sound good with the music, and Jack's screeching and Brendan's harmonies sound very nice. // 8

Overall Impression: My overall impression of this album would be great. Sure, it's got its bad points (look at "Together"), but overall, I would recommend it. Songs like "Hands" and "Blue Veins" are impressive, even with their simplistic sounds and heavy effects. Jack never fails to find some use of his Whammy. The only thing I really hate about it is "Together". I can't get over how lame it is, yet I can't get over how cool "Store Bought Bones" and "Blue Veins" really are, even if, like I said before, they are simplistic. So, as my last thing to say in this review, it would be that Jack, Brendan, Patrick, and the other Jack made an impressive album for first timers. Three words describe this album: Simple yet impressive. // 9

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overall: 10
Broken Boy Soldiers Reviewed by: Squall142, on may 22, 2006
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: I had originally heard only the two singles on their website and was blown away. When I got the CD I loved it and I listened to it twice I thought it was so good. Jack White, in my opinion, is one of the greatest guitarist I've heard and I love his style. All the instruments are vibing pretty well. The voices blend together well too. The thing that really impressed me is when the song "Blue Veins" started to go backwards and it didn't have any sudden stop or anything thanks to the keys. // 10

Lyrics: I'm a huge fan of Jack White and I think he's an incredible song writing and Brendan Benson is pretty good too. I think the lyrics are just brilliant and the song writers work well and hard at their craft. Their voices I must say blend well together as I said earlier and that's really good. They compliment each other when one is singing and the other is doing back-up vocals like in the song "Steady, As She Goes." // 10

Overall Impression: I may be a little biased because I'm a huge White Stripes fan but this album is just brilliant. I can't wait for the next one and I can't wait for the next Stripes album which will no doubt be awesome. It's rare for me to find artists where I like every song of theirs and only a few have done this for me. These bands are The Raconteurs (so far), The White Stripes, Nirvana, and so far The Chili Peppers have been impressing me lately. If it was lost or stolen I would get it again but that's not happening. // 10

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overall: 8.3
Broken Boy Soldiers Reviewed by: AimlessAmoeba, on june 12, 2006
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Alright. Here's the thing, if you're a White Stripes fan, the only thing you're going to like about this album is the fact that Jack White is in it. That's it. He doesn't sing lead on every song, although there are several which he does and, personally, I've always been a fan of his voice so that's a great thing. To describe any band's sound is a tricky thing. You'll get cliches in your head like "prog/funk/emo/jazz/rockadelia/kangaroo" or whatever. So I'm going to try to avoid that and just say that these guys are straightup '60s/70's revival. White's vocals on this album are almost reminiscent of Robert Plant, and the combination of White and Brendan Benson's guitars are the closest thing modern rock has seen to what the Beatles used to do. The best thing about this album is that it's not afraid to jump from genre to genre. It sounds like an indie album, yes. But it's not limited to that! From the flat-out rock anthem 'Steady As She Goes' (no doubt you've all heard) to the psychadelic 'Store Bought Bones' and ending with the floaty blues extravaganza that is 'Blue Veins'. There's not a rotten apple in this bunch. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics aren't especially deep or mindblowing but in my opinion lyrics are somewhat overrated to begin with. As I said above, this album feels to me like a revival of the classic rock movement, in which lyrics were never really of utmost importance. I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed White's singing on this album. I'm not even a White Stripes fan! // 7

Overall Impression: My favorite track on this album is "Together". Why? I don't know. It's got a lingering keyboard track in the background that almost reminds me of the slower stuff that the Doors used to play. If you're into shredding and perfectly constructed solos, then this is just not something you're going to be interested in. There are very few fills/solos in the songs, and they're meant to be simplistic. I like it that way. The only letdown about this album is it's length. 10 tracks just, it feels like it ends right after you put it in. Although, it's interesting how well they made this album flow, the tracks seem to merge into each other perfectly. If they do release another album, god willing, I'll buy it. // 9

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overall: 8.7
Broken Boy Soldiers Reviewed by: ofreena, on july 08, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: I searched high and low for this album looking for what most other people were looking for: Steady As She Goes. This CD has such a warm sound. There's nothing grungy about it. It's very warm and very clean. This CD was hard to find because of a Jack White lawsuit that pulled CD's off the shelves. Any one who buys this CD now will have to buy it by the "Saboteurs". An australian band sued the Raconteurs for stealing their band name and the boys were forced to change it. The band uses some really neat effects on their guitars in songs like Broken Boy Soldiers and Level. // 9

Lyrics: Jack White is definitely not famous for his lyrics. The lyrics are fairly simple. "Girl you got those eyes that see Help me find the good that's inside me 'Cause you're the only one who really knows How the feeling comes and why it goes." However, some things are best simple. I believe that they could be a bit more intricate but all the songs have their themes communicated effectively. The singers, Brenden Benson and Jack White, are amazing. I love Jack Whites scratchy voice, juxtaposed with Brenden Bensons smooth voice creates a wonderful harmony in songs like Hands and Steady As She Goes. // 7

Overall Impression: This is my favorite album I have ever bought. I searched two provinces for it, but eventually found it in my city. I don't think this compare to anything else. Not even the next album by the Racontuers which debuts a country sound. The most impressive songs are Hands and my personal favorite, Blue Veins. Blue Veins is a bluesy jazzy little number that sends shivers up my spine. The beautiful piano and lyrics are just amazing. I dislike a couple songs that appear near the middle of the cd, continuing to the last. "Together", "Yellow Sun" and "Call it a Day" all sound so similar to me. They are very simple songs basically just using chords, and they all have a similar tempo. If this were lost of stolen I would go insane, because I can't get the exact same thing. I'd have to get the Saboteurs. I would do all I could to buy it again. // 10

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overall: 10
Broken Boy Soldiers Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 19, 2006
0 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: Dude, when I first heard about Jack White doing a new side project I wasn't to happy because I love The White Stripes but, I picked up this CD a few weeks early and was Amazed. Jack White's vocals along with the nifty guitar of Brendan Benson and Jack Lawrence on bass and we can't forget Patrick Keeler on the drums make this band one to listen to. It's sound is something different than most music made now but, it's refreshing to hear something new and different. The almost techno-like intro they have on a few songs is really neat and once again shall I say different. // 10

Lyrics: Wow, Jack White is a song writing genious along with Brendan Benson makes the vocals on this CD amazing. The lyrics I thought were well written and flowed nicely. To me it all sounded great. The lyrics are indeed simple but, they make their point. // 10

Overall Impression: Gosh, this CD reminds me of The White Stripes only.. dare I say better. Songs that really stood out to me had to be "Steady As She Goes", "Hands", "Store Bought Bones", "Level", and "Blue Vains". I just flat out love this album it'll problay be one of my most listened CD's ever. If this was stolen, I would have to hunt down whoever stole it and teach them a lesson, then just to show them that they will never win I'll buy another 10 copies of this CD. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Broken Boy Soldiers Reviewed by: SuperAnalytical, on may 22, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The Raconteurs, simply said, a great band consisting of Detroit musicians, including The White Stripes' own Jack White. The sound varies, from heavily synthesized, keyboard oriented songs to more melodic-centered ballads. Influences to the band such as jazz and experimental classic rock shine through, making each and every song unique. // 10

Lyrics: Jack White and Brendan Benson are simply some of the best lyricists of modern rock. Although some lyrics do not have any connection, the collection of the random lyrics makes for interesting, unique arrangements. For the most part, the lyrics and music stay within harmony. The vocals between Brendan and Jack are phenomonal, a perfect balance between the two distinct voices. // 9

Overall Impression: I have never experienced a CD quite like "Broken Boy Soldiers". Starting off with the mainstream "Steady, As She Goes" and ending with the blues-oriented "Blue Veins", the great mix of musical styles makes for one great album. To myself, I have most enjoyed the tracks "Together", "Level", and "Yellow Sun". I had previously heard "Store Bought Bones" on The Raconteurs website, which is one of the most synthesized songs on the album. I like the originality, but it's not really what I'm used to, so it's not one of my favorites. I would definately purchase this album again, stolen, lost, broken, whatever. Truly, this is the most original and unique album I own, and I am proud to have it in my collection. // 10

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overall: 10
Broken Boy Soldiers Reviewed by: Hendrix1970, on july 12, 2006
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Tha Raconteurs debut album is a breath of fresh air in todays music. Each song is arranged very well and sung very well. There isn't much in the way of innovation as each song is mostly based off of a catchy riff and powerchords. I really enjoyed this Album because most of the songs are about a girl or something that you can relate with. It just creates feel good atmosphere. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are well written and I can gaurantee that most of the album is about about a girl or I gotta get a girl so there isn't much variety. That's not a bad thing mind you. The band has to vocalist Brendan Benson and Jack White of White Stripes fame. Both of there voices are so similar in Pitch that in Songs like "Level" it's not even noticable when one person has stopped singing and a different one has begun. That having been said the vocals blend very well. // 10

Overall Impression: The Raconteurs music is very different than that of the White Stripes. It's much more refined than the raw Stripes sound. But I'm sure any Stripes fan will appreciate this CD anyway. The songs "Hands" and "Level" are worth the purchase alone. There isn't anything I really hate about this album and if somebody stole it I would chase them down and beat the living crap out of them. // 10

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overall: 8.7
Broken Boy Soldiers Reviewed by: Shmef, on november 23, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: A very spacy feel througout the whole album. The entire thing makes you feel as if you are there. Voices in the background and echo give this an ambience that has nice big feel, whilst still feeling tight. Jack's vocals are top notch, but are a bit weak on songs like "Yellow Sun", where it is very difficult to tell wether itis Jack, Brendan, or both, singing during some of it. Brendan Benson also shines here, as a bass player and as a singer, but can be washed out by Jack's higher pitch. The songs are a very mixed bag. The title track is a very "Bron-Yr Stomp" esque song with a darker twist. It has a very eastern feel to it. Not to say it doesn't have it's "get-up-and-jump" moments, with songs like "Hands" and "Steady As She Goes", there is plenty for everybody. All in all, it has an amzing sound quality, as well as many different genres combined into one. It makes for a pretty good mix, a little for every mood. The only real complaint is that it feels short, like the songs could have been a bit longer, or maybe two or three more tracks could have done it. // 9

Lyrics: Lyrics are typical of Jack. They realy roll well with the rest of the music, and flow rather nicely. The lyrics are mostly about love, from what I can decipher, and work well. Jack delivers them amazingly, with his higher voice, very similar to that of Robert Plant (of Led Zeppelin, he delivers with much gusto. Benson also does well, but he feels more like backing vocals on a few songs. // 8

Overall Impression: Although often compared to The White Stripes, The Raconteurs bring a wonderful set of songs to the album. The music has a more clean feel than that of the Stripes. The best choice picks in my oppinion are "Level" and "Broken Boy Soldiers" are the top tracks on the disc by far. Overall a great album, with lots of highs, and very few lows, it is a solid effort by Jack, Brendan and Co. // 9

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overall: 9.3
Broken Boy Soldiers Reviewed by: Nirvanafan60, on march 30, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This album is amazing to put it simply The Raconteurs unique music style inspired me to take up guitar and music itself. Obviously one of Jack Whites less popular bands compared to The Whites Stripes but it is an amazing band and Brendan Benson is an amazing songwriter. I like how Jack and Brendan's vocals are so different but brings an element of surprise to this band in a way. I have built my music style around these guys kinda a garage rock band kinda stuff. I love the sounds they make with the guitars and how they use acoustic and electric guitar, Their drumming lines are good same with the bass lines. Jack and Brendan's vocals are amazing aswell. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics are good I'm guessing on past experiences and have meaning I love the lyrics in the song Together and Steady as she goes. Lyrics have this rocky folk feeling in some songs more than others but the rock presence is still there, the lyrics remind me abit like Wolfmother. Brendan and Jack as I said before are both amazing but Brendan is a great songwriter and I admire him, they are both as talented as the other. // 9

Overall Impression: The Raconteurs were the band that made me listen to rock music and completely blew my mind apart when I was about 10 now that I'm 14 I actually understand more about what the lyrics are but I'm still learning. My favourites are Together, Steady as she goes and Store bought bones but the whole album is fantastic. I love this album for its unique and different sound. If it were stolen or broken or lost I would be mega pissed off and buy it back or hunt down the person. The Raconteurs are one of my favourites now and will be heading into the near and distant future. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Broken Boy Soldiers Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 28, 2011
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: 01. "Steady As She Goes" - A classic right off the bat. The lyrics are catchy and the vocal melodies will be stuck in your mind for ages! The tight drums and distorted chorus guitar really makes this a rockin' tune. 02. "Hands" - Another great rockin' tune. The lyrics may come off as sappy at first listen (as well as the singing) but the whole song grows on you as you keep on listening again and again. 03. "Broken Boy Soldier" - Amazing piece of music that integrates acoustic and electric guitar. The singing I believe is the key, jacks odd style of singing may not appeal to some at first listen, but he sure puts emotion into it. Like at 2:25. THE BOY! 04. "Intimate Secretary" - This song has a great intro that they play amazingly live. The lyrics, again, are cheesy to some, but they grow on you. I think this is the albums pop song. 05. "Together" - Beautiful acoustic song. Just beautiful. Yeah, maybe not for someone who can't feel the emotion in it. But I know I did! The vocal melodies are phenomenal. (1:11 or you'll get burned). 06. "Level" - Best song on the album hands down. Amazing guitar work, brilliant vocal rounding near the end. Tight rhythm section work. Just a well put together tune. 07. "Store Bought Bones" - A high energy song, very interesting and catchy bluesy guitar work in the background. Only thing I didn't like was the outro. 08. "Yellow Sun" - Another acoustic tune. It's a very upbeat catchy, happy tune. It's hard not to smile from this song. Or bring summer memories into your mind! 09. "Call It A Day" - A very mellow tune, a good soundtrack to turning into. Or falling asleep to. Very easy to get lost into Brendan's voice. 10. "Blue Veins" - A classic blues song. The chorus makes me melt. They say "your blue veins" in such a way it makes your spine tingle. Defiantly worth a listen. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics like I said were very catchy and simple sounding. The vocal melodies throughout the album were astounding. Brendan Benson does a lot of the vocal work in The Raconteurs especially on this album. Jack Lawrence does a few lines as well. Nothing to complain about here. // 9

Overall Impression: I would definitely buy this album if I could find it on vinyl! But anyone on the edge about buying it or looking into the raconteurs you will love it. Killer melodies. Awesome keyboard. Jack white noises. It's all good folks. On top of all this I mentioned. They are probably the best live band of today. They don't mess around with big light shows and fancy entrances. They are the real deal. Big rock guitars and talented musicians. // 10

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