THE RACONTEURS, Help Us Stranger (Third Man Records, 2019)
PERSONNEL: Jack Lawrence (Bass, Guitar, synthesizers, backing vocals); Patrick Keeler (drums, percussion, backing vocals); Jack White (vocals, guitars, piano, synthesizers); Brendan Benson (vocals, guitar, percussion, harmonica); Dean Fertita (piano, synthesizer, organ, guitar); Joshua V. Smith (backing vocals, organ); Lilie Mae Rische (violin); Scarlett Rische (mandolin)
- Bored and Razed
- Help Me Stranger
- Only Child
- Don’t Bother Me
- Shine the Light on Me
- Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying)
- Hey Gyp
- Sunday Driver
- Now That You’re Gone
- Live a Lie
- What’s Yours is Mine
- Thoughts and Prayers
When it comes to The Raconteurs, what you see is what you get. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. With Help Us Stranger, Detroit has collided with Nashville to create a choice, lo-fi indie sound full of sharp lyrics and straight-forward rock and roll.
Free of the White Stripes, Jack White is able to expand on his sonic palette and create unique but accessible songs that are both personal and relatable, whether it’s the semi-self analysis of “Bored and Razed” or the breakup snark of “Now That You’re Gone.” A personal favorite is “Don’t Bother Me,” a marvelous piece of hard-charging rock built around a simple guitar lick and loaded with swagger.
The Raconteurs have created an album perfectly suited to that grungy dive bar where you like to hang and drink craft beer. It’s timeless and edgy, and it leaves the crowd begging for more.
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