Consolers Of The Lonely review by The Raconteurs

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  • Released: Mar 25, 2008
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.4 (215 votes)
The Raconteurs: Consolers Of The Lonely
23

Sound — 9
The Raconteurs' new album was released with relatively little publicity, but it could easily stand out as being one of the best records of the year. The quartet most famously known as Jack White's side project continues to have an earthy, bluesy element running through much of the new album Consolers of the Lonely, but there is much more going on this time around. Sure you get rock and blues, but the arrangements have been taken to a different level. Unexpected tempo changes are more the norm than the exception, which often takes most of the songs on exciting and gutsy turns along the way.

While not all of the 14 songs on Consolers of the Lonely are immediately embraceable, often because of their storytelling format (with the focus on several verses) that may test audiences' patience, it's still obvious that each one was written with plenty of thought. There are some tracks that draw you in instantly, however, and that has everything to do with the amazing arrangements. Consoler Of The Lonely is a prime example, with the intro featuring a cool little lick that completely stops and is taken over the sound of just percussion. It is seemingly just a great, straightforward rock track, but it has a little twist -- the tempos switch every time vocalist Brendan Benson switches duties with Jack White.

The Switch And The Spur has more of the ballad format mentioned earlier, but The Raconteurs take the liberty of also giving it more of an epic feel. There is a repeating trumpet line and the horns, and it has the same majestic power you hear in the White Stripes' Conquest. Tempo once again plays a huge part, and at about the halfway point the song speeds up, only to be taken back to it's original speed shortly after. The band has an incredible way of keeping things moving along, and The Switch And The Spur, although not necessarily the most infectious song on the record, is a beautiful example of The Raconteurs use of rhythm to create a mood.

Some of the tracks will need to grow on you, but Consolers of the Lonely has plenty of tracks that feature classic rock riffs. Attention and Five On The Five are standouts, while the first single Salute Your Solution gives the spotlight to the bass line for a good portion. While the first half of Salute Your Solution features your basic power chords with a manic vocal delivery, there's an absolutely fantastic groove-oriented breakdown which features the guitar doubling the vocal part. If you like the no-frills side of the band, you'll enjoy the first half of These Stones Will Shout, which centers around a clean acoustic and the lead vocals of White. It doesn't stay laid-back long, though, with things taking a turn toward the electric about halfway through the song.

Lyrics — 9
There's an old soul feel to the lyrics, which is a perfect match for the blues, vintage rock, or balladeering styles that often pop up in The Raconteurs' songs. The words always feel authentic, which is aided by the fact that vocalists White and Benson deliver the words with such emotion. The title track features some simple, yet effective lyrics with such lines as, If you're looking for an accomplice; A confederate, somebody's who's helpless; You're gonna find, you'll find yourself alone. They range from wise preachers to the everyman, and that's always an interesting mix.

Overall Impression — 9
In some ways The Raconteurs is a project that is much more daring than the White Stripes for Jack White, and more importantly, it brings the talents of vocalist Brendan Benson, bassist Jack Lawrence, and drummer Patrick Keeler to the forefront. You're getting a lot more than riffs with The Raconteurs, and it's a credit to the band that they're able to continually find different ways to hold your attention. Whether it's the tempo changes, guitar effects, solos (from all the instruments, not just the guitars), or vocal delivery, there are an abundance of reasons to respect The Raconteurs.

62 comments sorted by best / new / date

    MTVget0FFtheAIR
    E-dogg66 wrote: Music=OK Band Name= SUCKS!!!!! Hate the band name it Sounds like a Snotty French name?
    ...it's an english word. it means storyteller. improve your childish vocabulary?
    EchoLawrence
    what's wrong with you all? here is the raconteurs's 2nd album review, just leave a feedback to this decent review or write down what do you think about this "CONSOLERS OF THE LONELY" but the write stripes. Don't treat them as a "Jack White with a bunch of backstage performers", then you would realize how great they are.
    Gee-Tar1
    Baconfish wrote: Shread_6009 wrote: jack white never stops recording, hes got like 10 albums out since 1997, with 2 different bands, and all of them have been great. Please, lets not forget get behind me satan.
    Sarcasm? That was a great album.
    smileyface
    "Get Behind Me Satan" is the pinnacle of Jack White's career and one of the best albums of the last decade. Its just a truth, I feel sorry for those that don't get it
    kthxbi
    smileyface wrote: "Get Behind Me Satan" is the pinnacle of Jack White's career and one of the best albums of the last decade. Its just a truth, I feel sorry for those that don't get it
    Agreed. It's always weird for me when people knock that album. Sure, it was totally different to the other White Stripes albums, and yeah, I prefered their debut to any other, including GBMS, but what the hell is Icky Thump? GBMS shi ts all over that anyday.
    wearshades88
    smileyface wrote: "Get Behind Me Satan" is the pinnacle of Jack White's career and one of the best albums of the last decade. Its just a truth, I feel sorry for those that don't get it
    I would have to take Elephant over GBMS as it's a more consistant album with better highlights, but you're right, GBMS is criminally under appreciated.
    mack attack
    I just got this album and it's so good. Like stated in the review the time changes add so much to the songs, my favourite being the title track Consoler of the Lonely
    pinkxfloydx123
    best album since White Blood Cells! i luv this album... best songa are "Salute your Solution", "Consolers of the Lonely", "Shades of Black", and "Attention"
    brantley23
    I have listened to the album about 4 or 5 times and it gets better every time. Five on the Five is sticking out for me right now, really rockin. The entire album is a lot more of just straight rock than the first album which is nice. Most of the songs are pretty upbeat too no slow down songs so it keeps the album going. We should also stick to talking about Raconteurs album here not which White Stripes album is the best even though i love the stripes and have all of their albums.
    ishkabibbler
    this album really showcases the talents of jack, Brendan, little jack, and Patrick. the album has so many different sounds and therefore there is so much to enjoy. my favorite song is "rich kid blues". it constantly changes and keeps you interested while maintaining the blues structure that this band is based on. (p.s - the picture of jack in the booklet is priceless.)
    ishkabibbler
    kthxbi wrote: smileyface wrote: "Get Behind Me Satan" is the pinnacle of Jack White's career and one of the best albums of the last decade. Its just a truth, I feel sorry for those that don't get it Agreed. It's always weird for me when people knock that album. Sure, it was totally different to the other White Stripes albums, and yeah, I prefered their debut to any other, including GBMS, but what the hell is Icky Thump? GBMS shits all over that anyday.
    i love icky thump just as much as i love all of their albums. i think that icky thump was trying to accomplish what this album did. i love both albums but they are different. with Brendan and the two greenhorns they are allowed to create what ever sound they want. no offense to Meg but its harder to do that with two people than it is with four of five. i am not telling anybody that they are wrong. i just think that we need to appreciate everything that all of these people have done. we can not just hate something just because the band is trying to change and do something different. i love the old garage blues sound of the white stripes, but i will always love when they try something new. if you listen to 'the alternative to love' you can here the changes that Brendan Benson made also. little jack and Patrick are also amazing and are the support for this album.
    EchoLawrence
    what's wrong with you all? here is the raconteurs's 2nd album review, just leave a feedback to this decent review or write down what do you think about this "CONSOLERS OF THE LONELY" but the write stripes. Don't treat them as a "Jack White with a bunch of backstage performers", then you would realize how incredible they are.
    BigGingerPanda
    I love this album so much, and frankly Carolina Drama is possibly the best song I've heard in something like a decade. Good stuff. ps: I may be being a little hyperbolic, but I still stick by that comment.
    kthxbi
    ishkabibbler wrote: kthxbi wrote: smileyface wrote: "Get Behind Me Satan" is the pinnacle of Jack White's career and one of the best albums of the last decade. Its just a truth, I feel sorry for those that don't get it Agreed. It's always weird for me when people knock that album. Sure, it was totally different to the other White Stripes albums, and yeah, I prefered their debut to any other, including GBMS, but what the hell is Icky Thump? GBMS shits all over that anyday. i love icky thump just as much as i love all of their albums. i think that icky thump was trying to accomplish what this album did. i love both albums but they are different. with Brendan and the two greenhorns they are allowed to create what ever sound they want. no offense to Meg but its harder to do that with two people than it is with four of five. i am not telling anybody that they are wrong. i just think that we need to appreciate everything that all of these people have done. we can not just hate something just because the band is trying to change and do something different. i love the old garage blues sound of the white stripes, but i will always love when they try something new. if you listen to 'the alternative to love' you can here the changes that Brendan Benson made also. little jack and Patrick are also amazing and are the support for this album.
    Yeah, that's actually a pretty good way of looking at it. Icky Thump seems a little like a proto-COTL (from what I've heard) and it's not really a sound which you're gonna get out of a guitar and a basic drummer.
    mamason282
    BADASS ALBUM--LOVE THE SOUND. IT IS GREAT TO HEAR SOMETHING THAT IS A BIT DIFFERENT THAN THE REST. I CANT STOP LISTENING TO IT
    metalifan
    Some tracks on this album make you think they were left overs from White Stripe's Icky Thump Sounds very White Stripes but still an awesome album White Stripes and Raconteurs are both brillaint bands This album is 10 times better then Broken Boy Soldiers and that was amazing
    Pigs_onthe_wing
    Personally, i loved this album. I thought that it was better that bbs, i could even go as far as to say i like it better than alot of the whitestripes stuff (i am a huge whitestripes fan though, dont get me wrong) ive had it since the release date, and i am obsessed with it.
    MegaRon
    So I've gotten attached to the album in the week since I purchased it. Carolina Drama is by far my favourite track. It's strange, seems like with Jack White, the last track of any album is always likely to be my favourite. Ever since I got into the White Stripes, my favourite songs have been "It's True That We Love One Another", "Effect & Cause", "I'm Lonely (But I'm Not That Lonely Yet)", and now, with the Raconteurs, it's been "Blue Veins" and "Carolina Drama." That song alone is worth buying the entire album. The rest of it is practically flawless, too. Call it bold, but I think that the Raconteurs are the greatest indie blues rock band out there today.
    CandyCaneGirl
    Lol I made an account just to comment on this! Lol. My favorite band ever is the White Stripes and Raconteurs is indeed a very close 2nd. I totally loked BBS. My favorite tracks are "Broken Boy Soldier" "Intimate Secretary" and "Blue Veins". I didn't think this album would top BBS, since it was such short notice, but, hell yeah it did. My favorite tracks are "Carolina Drama", "Salute Your Solution" and "Rich Kid Blues". Amazing album. :]. And I agree, Get Behind Me Satan is the BEST . Does anyone think Jack seemed depressed then? I was reading an interview, and he had said, "Satan was a bad time...." and there are a lot of more sad songs on GBMS.
    JerryII
    MTVget0FFtheAIR wrote: E-dogg66 wrote: Music=OK Band Name= SUCKS!!!!! Hate the band name it Sounds like a Snotty French name? ...it's an english word. it means storyteller. improve your childish vocabulary?
    Get it right! it's a French word that's been adopted by into the English language e-dogg was right. He was wrong however about it being a crap name. Anyway I don't know what you're all on about. This is an increadibly disappointing album... the worst of White's career by a long way
    Arthur_Jayz-G!
    JerryII wrote: Anyway I don't know what you're all on about. This is an increadibly disappointing album... the worst of White's career by a long way
    What? this is a very good album. I bought it on day of release and was immediately impressed. They sound a lot more polished and accomplished as songwriters since BBS, and I think this may be one of the best Jack White albums in terms on guitar work! most of the riffs and solos are amazing!
    red157
    JerryII wrote: Anyway I don't know what you're all on about. This is an increadibly disappointing album... the worst of White's career by a long way
    Not really, by a long way. The previous Raconteurs album is worse than this.
    TomleHat
    To be honest this is one of the worst albums of Jack White's career (along with the other raconteurs album and Get Behind Me Satan) but it is important that he keeps being this creative on records.
    JerryII
    red157 wrote: red157 wrote: Not really, by a long way. The previous Raconteurs album is worse than this.
    I gotta say that I loved Broken Boy Soldiers... it might even be my favorite White album
    Baconfish
    Shread_6009 wrote: jack white never stops recording, hes got like 10 albums out since 1997, with 2 different bands, and all of them have been great.
    Please, lets not forget get behind me satan.
    tuneloon
    I'm new to this site, but had to post on this one. I went out and picked this disc up at lunch and have been able to give it a few listens, and a few things stand out. The album is very diverse. From the story teller fashion of The Switch and the Spur to the grinding rock title track, to the classic bluesy Top Yourself the Raconteurs are taking their music wherever they want it to go. There are enough stand out tracks to get you to listen again, and enough hidden gems for your appreciation to grow with each listen. Of course, I expect nothing different from a band that features so much talent. I feel this is a better album that BBS, if only for the fact that there are 4 more tracks : Of course, it's only been one day!! Enjoy!!
    MegaRon
    I kinda stumbled upon it while looking through CDs at Best Buy and I reacted in the following way: "HOLY SHIT! NEW RACONTEURS ALBUM!" Picked it up, listening to it now. Like what I've heard so far and I'm not even 2 minutes into the first song.
    red157
    Gave it a 10 to counteract the arse who gave it a ridiculously low score. Enjoyed the album more than their debut, still think they haven't reached their peak and that the UG review was very flattering.
    tbarrettl
    I am amazed on how much this brings back good old bluesy rock like Zeppelin and Cream back into the big picture unlike anybody has done an equal job on.
    666Sabbath666
    Can't wait to give this a listen I enjoy The Raconteurs much more than The White Stripes, so I kind of wish Jack would just focus on this
    NielsWho
    good lord, I just heard some songs, and I am definetly buying the album, absolute brilliance!
    Brendy
    got the album 1st thing today. can't stop listening to it...it's awesome.
    Johnonon
    Just heard "Salute Your Solution" on the radio. It's like old garage rock on SPEED! Cant wait to pick it up except our Target isnt putting it on the shelves yet
    Mojo89
    to be honest I thought the first album was a more commercial effort, and after it I questioned if Jacko had sold out but with icky thump and this its clear he's not just a ***** for the corporate gangbang. This albums existence wasn't even confirmed until a week ago with little to no marketing.
    jbone88
    i loved the first album. cant wait to get the new one. are the guitar riffs pretty interesting or are they just laid back style?
    CantBanMeLosers
    First song blew me away listening to the rest right now the consistency of goodness per song is more than that of the first record.