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57 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2006
This album clocks in at just under 34 minutes but when the half hour is this good, it's hard to complain.

The versatility that Jack White continues to show year after year is almost mind boggling. From the early White Stripes albums to "Candy Cane Children" to Loretta Lynn's "Van Lear Rose" to the music from COLD MOUNTAIN to "Get Behind Me Satan" to The Raconteurs, you just never know what he's going to do next. You can count on two things though: it will not be a copy of what he's done before and it will be quality music.

I believe he's the best composer and best musician in rock music today (and will be tomorrow).

The Raconteurs debut album is 10 infectious tracks that have a timeless quality. Sometimes it sounds as if this album could have been made in 1973, or 1979, or 1982, or 1990, yet it sounds very contemporary too. Instead of fronting the band, Jack's style is incorporated into a group of incredibly talented performers. The last track "Blue Veins" is one of the best songs from any of White's projects.

When there's so much insignificant music being made these days, it's good to know you can put your trust in Jack.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2006
Confession: I do not like the White Stripes. I mean, I like music with some rough edges but there's something just too primitive about the Stripes that leaves me cold. Even so, every now and then you'd get glimpses of things that made it apparent that Jack White was a capable and versatile musician and his work on Loretta Lynn's "Van Lear Rose" brought that point home even more.

Which brings us to Jack's newest project, The Raconteurs. Teaming up with fellow Detroiter, pop guy Brendan Benson, White has assembled what amounts to a 2006 version of The Kinks or Small Faces. That is to say what we have here is a pop/rock band with all of the classic ingredients: great songwriting, hooks galore, a solid rhythm section, inventive arrangements and two capable lead vocalists.

To be sure, there are plenty of rough edges and quirky sonic jimcrackery but they are always just one of numerous elements and never distract from the song. Maybe this is Benson's pop sensibilities tempering White's noisy asides or maybe not but the end result is a CD that is interesting and fun to listen to and, really, what else matters?

The opening track "Steady As She Goes" sounds fantastic and refreshing on the radio. A few more bands and releases like this and maybe rock can be revived from its current comatose state.

By the way, the CD is exactly the right length.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2010
This album makes me feel like a kid just discovering rock-n-roll. Each song is well crafted. When I was sixteen and had my first car, Led Zeppelin II was in the deck on auto-reverse for months. Now the tunes are on an iPod, I'm old and wrinkled, but I don't feel it driving along and grooving to Jack White and company.
Heavy influences of Zeppelin, Uriah Heep, and other assorted guitar gods you'll be trying to remember as the next song grows on you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2008
I've had this album for a while now, and it is one of my favorites. I thought it was going to be similar to the White Stripes, but it really isn't; there are some similarities, but it has more structure and less of the random loud noises that the Stripes use so much lately. This album has a good mixture of fast-paced songs with a few "poppier" songs mixed in. If you're looking for some good, creative, rowdy music, then buy this album!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I was very surprised to discover that I like this album every bit as much as CONSOLERS OF THE LONELY. The dominant sentiment seems to be that CONSOLERS OF THE LONELY, their second album, is their breakthrough album. I think this album is just as strong as that one. I've been listening to it for long stretches on the road and progressively I've been sinking deeper and deeper into it. I like every song but the stand out for me is "Broken Boy Soldier". It has that raw, raspy rock blues twang to it that I just love. Plus there is the tinkle of a triangle throughout that I think is the perfect counterpoint. If one could put deep needle scratches into a groove on a CD, then this is the song which would be a mess on my album. My next favorite, which is beginning to give my first choice a run for the money is "Blue Veins" and for roughly the same reasons. By contrast, I like the crowd pleaser favorite on this album, STEADY AS SHE GOES, but it is very harmonious and unraw so it is a bit too "nice" for me. I do realize though that you have to have something for everyone and that is the song which won most polls (NPR for example). The number one reason I bought this album was because Jack White is part of the band. I haven't enjoyed a musician this much since the late Chet Baker was performing. He is an incredible talent.

Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2007
I discovered the Raconteurs when I saw them open for Bob Dylan. I really don't listen to a lot of new music - it seems too test-marketed - but this whole album seems genuine and, more importantly, it F'n rocks! It's hard to place exactly but this band feels like they were plucked out of the 1967-1972 era, put into a modern recording studio with a modern producer and this album is the result. Nothing seems worn-out, tired or cliche about it but it definitely feels like it's from that era. The most surprising influence I noticed was Deep Purple since they're considered a ponderous dinosaur these days yet this band presents plenty of Purple-ish elements (mostly overdriven Hammond B3 sounds) here with fresh vitality. I also picked up on some Led Zepplin-style use of a Leslie effect and a hint of early Pink Floyd. I was most shocked to hear not only a tasty, melodic lead guitar solo but a tasty, melodic DOUBLE-LEAD! Anyone remember Boston? I really still can't call them "retro." It's more like they've picked up where hard rock left off when it got derailed by disco, punk and a preoccupation with ultra-virtuosity in the mid-'70s and taken the first step in a long time to push it forward in a good direction.

I also like their sense of humor. They're a little light in the lyric department (I've got a rabbit it likes to hop/I've got a girl and she likes to shop/The other foot looks like it won't drop/I had an uncle but he got shot) yet their name implies they're storytellers. Hmmmmm....

If you wish there was more classic rock to discover, try this album out. It's fresh and new now in exactly the same way that stuff was 35-40 years ago. Very tasty stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2007
I'd heard a song or two on the radio while traveling and thought I'd give the cd a go. Fabulous! Truly these musicians enjoy what they do and each others company. Only through genuine collaboration could such a creation happen. They had me from the first song to the last. The style is definately not that of amateurs. Well produced but not to the point that it sounds plastic. In fact one thing I love the most is how they have retained a slight raw edge that was quite refreshing. I hear influences of the Beatles, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin but with completely fresh insight and I only hope they keep it up so I can add more to my music collection!

In my opinion, not just one or two songs but, all of them are good!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2006
The Raconteurs feature the combined songwriting talents of Jack White from the White Stripes & Brendan Benson.

Unlike most people, I'm more familiar with the work of the latter, though I also like what I've heard from the White Stripes. If you too are a Brendan Benson fan, I'm sure you'll love this CD. In fact, it seems to me that Benson sings lead on most of the songs. These sound like they could be on his solo albums, though they're a bit edgier. I imagine this is White's influence. In my opinion, it's a good thing. Also, the two harmonize very well. The 2 or 3 songs that seem to feature White are decidedly prog-rock, mostly in a Led Zeppelin way (though a bit of ELP too ?!) ... I dunno how this will go over with White Stripes fans, but of course he revives this style in his usual hip way.

I'm assuming that the bassist & drummer are from some cool band I haven't heard of, making this a Detroit "supergroup" of sorts. Either way, they rock.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2006
This cd is absolutely amazing! I heard "Steady As She Goes" on the radio and had to hear the rest of it. It doesn't happen very often that you buy a new cd and end up liking EVERY song on it! "Broken Boy Soldiers" reminds me of Led Zeppelin. The other songs remind me of a combination of The Who, Ted Nugent and maybe the Beatles. Jack White and the rest of the band certainly have some major talent! I also liked it because it seems like they were having fun and really enjoyed making this cd.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
What I really appreciate in this album, and in Consolers of the Lonely for that matter, is the contrasting vocal work between the power pop style of Benson and the Detroit Blues style of White. Seldom do you see a group these days with one good vocalist but this band has two. They made really good decisions with who should sing on which song also. I would compare it to Daltrey and Townshend except more evenly distributed.
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