So yes, my growing love for the Raconteurs meant that I went out and bought their second album "Consolers of the Lonely". I'm not disappointed at all, despite what anyone might say about them.
This album was rush-released, possibly something to do with Jack White's cancelled tour with the White Stripes (due to Meg going down with some sort nervous breakdown - my friend will never forgive her for that). Perhaps the other members of the band were just a bit desperate to tell everyone that they weren't dead as well - Brendan Benson hasn't released a solo album since 2005 and the rhythm and percussion section's band The Greenhorns split not long after the Raconteurs released "Broken Boy Soldiers".
"Consolers of the Lonely" is no worse from being released hastily though. Many of the songs still glide by with no problems - from the frenetic, furiously paced "Salute Your Solution" and "Hold Up" to the more contemplative musings of "Top Yourself" and "Many Shades of Black". The latter is completely catchy despite the rather failed attempt at being soulful during the chorus - stick to what you know, guys.
Actually "Many Shades of Black" is a good song to express how they've beefed up their sound. "Broken Boy Soldiers" was quite a quiet album in comparison to this - they've added more bite, like the brass section and making the drums more prominent so they pound long after the song has finished (not literally of course!).
In all honesty the album is a rather random affair - it seems to move from one song to another with little fluidity. I'm not complaining; it's just that this brings out the obvious fact that Jack White and Brendan Benson are two different people with different songwriting abilities. In essence, it's quite easy to tell who had more prominence in writing certain songs. At the same time, their voices are quite different. Jack has no problems getting around some of the faster paced songs, but Brendan feels more comfortable grappling with the slower tracks. Just to reiterate: I'm not complaining!
Perhaps it would be more fair to judge this album against its predecessor but since I can't I'll say this: if you can get past the random way in which this album flows, you will enjoy this album. I'm hooked. I love them more now - please rush release another album guys!
What I'm Listening To Right Now - "Hairy Trees" by Goldfrapp