Rolling Stone - p.553.5 stars out of 5
-- "CONSOLERS OF THE LONELY comes together like a blissfully stoned conversation between White and Benson about their favorite bands: Led Zeppelin, the Who, Badfinger. Each of them riffs off the other, trading verses and guitar leads on a host of compelling stories..."
Rolling Stone - p.96Ranked #44
in Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums Of 2008 -- "[A]n ecstatic, fully integrated live band..."
Spin - p.1083 stars out of 5
-- "[T]he matchup of White's emotional and musical volatility and Benson's power-pop jones pays off: 'You Don't Understand Me' plays like a long-lost, bitter Badfinger outtake."
Spin - p.47Ranked #35
in Spin's "40 Best Albums Of 2008" -- "'Hold Up' and 'Salute Your Solution' are blistering rockers served well by an actual rhythm section..."
Entertainment Weekly - p.61
"The Raconteurs hitch country and long-haired funk to a boisterous blooze-rock wagon with nary a nod to subtlety or art-school cool." -- Grade: B+
Uncut - p.994 stars out of 5
-- "[T]he way that it spans dynamic radio rock, affecting urban blues, garage stompers and blatant Who worship renders it rich enough to be remembered..."
Kerrang (Magazine) - p.49
"Loaded with 1970's guitar slinging bravado, it's a red-blooded rock and roll album..."
Pitchfork (Website) - "[With] big hooks and bigger guitars, stuffed arrangements, and plenty of instrumental shock and awe....[A]nother loose, comfortable affirmation of what they do well."
The Raconteurs: Jack White III (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Patrick Keeler (drums, percussion).
From the beginning Jack White insisted that the Raconteurs were a proper band and not just a White Stripes side project. The release of CONSOLERS OF THE LONELY, the second album by the band he co-leads alongside singer-songwriter Brendan Benson, bears out all parties' commitment to the project. From the very first cut (the title track), the varied musical personalities at work here are apparent, as the song moves back and forth between a streamlined, Benson-sung section and a slower, crunchier blues-rocking snatch of patented White work.
That stylistic dynamic plays itself out in less blatant juxtapositions throughout the rest of the album. "You Don't Understand Me" is a classic power-popper replete with twinkling piano and smooth, layered vocal harmonies, while raw garage-rock stomper "Hold Up" leaps out with almost savage ferocity. The most rewarding moments may be the ones where White and Benson collaborate to create a fresh-sounding sonic paradigm, as on "The Switch and the Spur," a trumpet-punctuated epic that sounds more akin to a testosterone-enhanced Decemberists than anything else. Ultimately, White and Benson honor just enough of their respective pasts to ensure a vital future for the Raconteurs.