Most helpful critical review
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Buyer Beware! This is no 5 star classic record.
on May 24, 2006
If you can get your hands on "Steady as She Goes," "Broken Boy Soldiers," and "Store Bought Bones," you've got it made. Those songs have the fire of rock mixed with pop saavy that make for a great recording. The rest of the songs suffer in comparison.
Jack White has made a career out of paying homage to Rock past, and often he pulls this off with stunning success. While his passion is unassailable and his instincts true, at times it can sound a bit too imitative. It's a fine line to walk and I applaud him for doing so; what makes the above-mentioned songs great is their ability to sound classic and current in equal measure.
Still, there's also something off-putting about having a few relatively straight blues songs on a record with such catchy pop cuts. Now that I think about it, I feel the same about the White Stripes: I just can't buy the more straight-up bluesisms.
Frankly it seems to me Brendan Benson holds this project back somewhat. His second song, "Hands," is kind of compelling, but never develops. It never changes once from its first 10 seconds--never. And it suffers, as do all of Benson's songs, from weak lyrics. "Store Bought Bones" may be sung by Benson, but don't try to tell me what makes that song rock is not Jack White. It's nice that White is a team player, I'm sure Benson has some musical sensibilities, but they are definitely not equals, no matter how hard their press works to emphasize this.
Having heard "Steady as She Goes" and "Store Bought Bones," I was ready for the arrival of the next great power pop band. The Raconteurs definitely have the talent on hand to be one but this record is not all there.