A surprise hit

Say you are in class on a Monday (perhaps a Manic Monday) when suddenly the professor announces that you are having a major test on Friday. It sucks, right? Of course it does, because nobody wants to hear something like that on short notice. However, what you will enjoy on short notice is the new Raconteurs album, Consolers of the Lonely.

Wait, you didn’t know about it? If so, you are in the majority. The critically-coined super group announced March 17 that they would release a new album on March 25, a mere week later.

The group’s first album, Broken Boy Soldiers, was a strong effort that nabbed a few Grammy nominations. Many expected a similar sound to the White Stripes because of the Jack White connection, but the album surprisingly surpassed any hopes and expectations. And with all that, the Raconteurs have managed to out-do themselves with the new album.

After the first play-through, it is obvious they were going for a harder rock sound. When compared to the first album, there are more screeching guitars, more clash and more kick ass. The single “Salute Your Solution” perfectly exemplifies this. “Steady as She Goes” from the original album was slightly low key where as “Solution” is more of a party song.

That party element is really the theme of Consolers, though. It is the perfect album to thrash around to in your room or listen to on a nice drive.

The Raconteurs strike a good balance to keep you enthralled with the entire album. “Many Shades of Black” is a calmer track that really shows off White’s great vocals and sounds like a song that would be perfect for live performances. The track is followed nicely by “Five on the Five,” a bounce-around song with one damn fine guitar intro.

In all honesty, there is not one track that acts as the runt of the litter. The track selection is great, as it offers a mixture of rock genres, from country/folk-like sounds to the aforementioned thrash. Like the first album, the links to classic rock are undeniable, but that is what makes the Raconteurs so damn enjoyable.

You’ll find the album to really be a consoler of the lonely. Still, you will enjoy this alone, with friends, and maybe even people you don’t know. Keep in mind we are not advocating pulling a random person aside to listen to this with you. However you decide to listen to it, Consolers of the Lonely is more than worthy of a purchase. Download recommendation: “Many Shades of Black”