The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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The Raconteurs return as ‘Consolers of the Lonely’

When Jack White, guitarist extraordinaire and one-half of the White Stripes, announced he was, in fact, in another band called The Raconteurs, critics assumed it was just a side-project due to unprecedented boredom.

This assumption was quickly ripped to pieces by the arrival of “Broken Boy Soldiers,” the band’s first record. Its reputation as a serious band is furthered by its sophomore effort, “Consolers of the Lonely,” released last Tuesday on Third Man Records in conjunction with XL Recordings and Warner Bros. Records.

The Raconteurs could be described as a perfect musical equation. The power of Jack White’s vocals, guitars and unwavering presence is carefully layered with the shared lead of Brendan Benson, indie music’s answer to pop rock, and backed by the rhythm section of the Greenhornes, which includes drummer Patrick Keeler and bass player Jack Lawrence of Cincinnati, respectively.

The band claims they didn’t get together as if their current situations were causing a state of unwanted idleness or lack of motivation; the four guys had been friends for over a decade, all playing together at one time or another throughout the years, but never officially calling themselves The Raconteurs.

With the release of “Broken Boy Soldiers” in 2006, any uncertainties about The Raconteurs as a true band were laid to rest. Their catchy first single, “Steady As She Goes,” became an enormous commercial hit, and the album received ongoing praise from critics such as Rolling Stone Magazine, Billboard charts and, of course, the general public. Going on to tour all over the world and headlining major festivals such as Lollapalooza in Chicago, The Raconteurs had quickly reached the musical summit of success when asked to open for Bob Dylan on his arena tour.

In May 2007, the band recorded at the famous Blackbird Studios for its second collaborated project. This experience was a little different than the first album, which was recorded during the previous summer in the stifling hot attic of Brendan Benson’s previous home in Detroit.

The band threw down as much as they could on 16-track tape before heading different ways. White ran off to take his brand new White Stripes album on a summer tour, Benson worked on another solo album, and Keeler and Lawrence recorded as well with their band back home.

As fall approached, the four musicians met back up to put together the finished results of their second album, mastered and released to the public on March 25.

One reason why the Raconteurs are so special to the music industry is how much they care about the actual art of creating music. The guys decided not to preview tracks or have any reviews written until the set date of the album’s release. This way everyone can listen to it at the same time, so no predetermined judgment can alter anyone’s opinions of the album until each person hears it for his or herself.

“Consolers ” is an album that further cements The Raconteurs as one of the most influential modern rock bands in the midst of digital cross-over and vinyl extinction. The band puts together 14 well-organized tracks, each containing different themes that could rattle your bones or break your heart.

“Salute Your Solution” is obviously the album’s standout single. The song showcases Jack White’s wailing electric guitar, first cousin to his sound in the White Stripes. The track not only peaks with head-bobbing riffs and alternating drum patterns, but surmounts the listener’s expectations with the influx of quick-tongued lyrics that echo in your ears after the song finishes.

The Raconteurs’ “Consolers” could be compared to that of a musical rollercoaster, one song followed by another with a completely different sound, one never allowing the next song to disappoint the listener. Though this record sounds best when listened to in order, tracks “You Don’t Understand Me,” “Five on the Five” and “Attention” make the most impressions with their diverseness and experimentation of sounds.

What makes The Raconteurs worth listening to is that they intend to deliver music as purely and thoughtfully as a band can try to do these days. With options of buying “Consolers of the Lonely” through vinyl, CD and digital format, the band speaks to all spectrums of the industry with its arrival as musical martyrs, sacrificing time, money and the striking odds to stay grounded as solid performers.

The Raconteurs will be in Dallas on May 1, performing at the House of Blues with opening act Birds of Avalon. Tickets can be purchased at the venue’s Web site and from that of the band.

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