Who: Jack White and The Raconteurs return after an 11 year absence.
Sound: Classic rock radio ready.
TFN Final Take: Jack White has not ever disappeared but his Raconteurs have been dormant for 11 years until now with the release of their third record Help Us Stranger. The record is a full-blown rock album that not only revives the Raconteurs early spirit, The Greenhornes garage blues history but surprisingly plays a bit like a modern-day Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Help Us Stranger builds off of all the band’s members experience and comes at you with precision around every note.
From the opening roar of first track “Bored and Razed” to the hailing riff on “Sunday Driver,” the Raconteurs always have your volume knob in mind. Knowing what you came for is important but what energizes Help Us Stranger are the rock ballads. “Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying)” is a song that hits deep as you feel the emotion and blues behind the track but just when you think things are bad the track swivels on a dime and gets louder with guitar and the chant of “I’m here right now, I’m not dead yet.” “Only Child” is another old school slow burner that has a swaying groove that easily keeps in your head as singer Brendan Benson seems like he is on his last breath. Even the folkish closer, “Thoughts and Prayers” is another highlight example that sometimes less can be more.
The Raconteurs rock showmanship on Help Us Stranger is not a surprise as not one person in this lineup would probably like it any other way. That is the great sound of Help Us Stranger because it has the timeless sound you love and the rock you need today!
The Raconteurs Website
The Raconteurs Facebook
Third Man Records
– Reviewed by Thomas Wilde