Album of the Week: The Raconteurs, 'Help Us Stranger'

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The Raconteurs, 'Help Us Stranger' album art
The Raconteurs, 'Help Us Stranger' (Patrick Keeler/Third Man Records)
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The Current's Album Of The Week is the new Raconteur's release Help Us Stranger, their first new full length in 11 years. You might think for a band that's been away for more than a decade, they'd come back sounding very different, but that is not the case. Sonically and stylistically, this record sounds like it could have come out just a year or two after 2008's Consolers Of The Lonely, but that's not a bad thing.

All the elements that go into a great Raconteurs' record are present here. The balanced approach of the band's two primary singer/ songwriters, Jack White and Brendan Benson remains front and center. Benson's more straight ahead pop sensibilities seem to help reign in some White's more obtuse and experimental tendencies (think the 'literally everything but the kitchen sink' hodgepodge of 2017's Boarding House Reach...), while White seems to push Benson a little further into challenging himself to do more. Add to all that inventive and diverse song writing acumen the bedrock rhythm section of Jack Lawrence on bass and Patrick Keeler on drums, and you've got four talented, dedicated players that clearly went out of their way to make an album, not just a few choice singles.

Help Us Stranger is not a revolution, but it is still very satisfying. It is an album that is filled with moments both quiet and loud, consistently strong songwriting and is, once again, exceptionally produced. The Raconteurs have not reinvented the wheel this time around, but they didn't need to. This is a solid effort. A proper Rock Record from start to finish. If you liked where they left off in 2008 (like I do), then you're going to love the 2019 addition.

Resources


The Raconteurs - Official Site

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