Raconteurs release sophomore album

Justin Rodstrom

On March 17-St. Patrick’s Day-Jack White walked into the offices of Warner Bros. Records with the master recordings of The Raconteurs’ second album. He asked that the album be rush released on March 25.

Apparently, White gets what White wants: March 25 saw the release of “Consolers of the Lonely,” the second LP to be recorded by the supergroup co-fronted by Detroit rockers Brendan Benson and White.

The band, formed in 2005, began as a side project to The White Stripes for White.

As can be expected from a sophomore album, “Consolers” is characterized by a much more mature sound from the band.

Those familiar with its first album, “Broken Boy Soldiers” will notice a more hard-rock-oriented sound.

As the first song, the steady rocker “Consoler of the Lonely” sets the general tone for the rest of the album.

The intro to the first single, “Salute Your Solution,” is reminiscent of early Green Day, but “Icky Thump”-style guitar distortion and White’s wailing vocals clear up any confusion.

“Old Enough” begins with a Shins-esque vocal melody over light acoustic strumming but soon breaks into a strong strings part over a simple drum beat-a tune that calls to mind “Led Zeppelin III.”

It is also the most Benson-dominated song on the album.

The band seems to be having the most fun on “Hold Up,” a foot-stomping rocker with a little more drive than the average Raconteurs track.

White Stripes loyalists will feel right at home listening to “Top Yourself,” a song that could easily have just missed the “Icky Thump” track list.

The album concludes with “Carolina Drama,” a bluesy tale about domestic violence.

The longest song on the album by far, “Carolina” starts slow and builds towards a frantic finish to both the story and song.

The Raconteurs’ second album is ultimately a more cohesive effort than their debut.

The songs mesh well together, despite the various styles and instruments used throughout the album.

With “Consolers of the Lonely,” White again proves that he can write guitar riffs reminiscent of the great Jimmy Page.

Fans of Benson’s solo work might be disappointed to learn that his vocals are few and far between.

For better or for worse, it seems that The Raconteurs have become White’s band.

In the end “Consolers of the Lonely” is a strong sophomore album that is both accessible to newcomers and enjoyable by even veteran White Stripes fans.