Raw Rock, Delivered Fast

by | Mar 27, 2008

Greg Kot of Chicago Tribune calls some of the songs on The Raconteurs’ new release, Consolers of the Lonely “White Stripes B-sides.”

I respect Kot, but find this line of reasoning odd, because what I’m thinking is The Raconteurs are better in almost every way than Jack White’s original outfit. Not that I dislike the White Stripes. Maybe, I just need more than a two-piece can provide.


Kot also comments on the rush that brought Consolers of the Lonely to market.

Dispensing with the usual months-long marketing campaign that accompanies a big release on a major record label, the Raconteurs last week announced that they would rush their second album, Consolers of the Lonely (XL/Warner), into stores Tuesday in all formats: digital, CD and even vinyl.

“We wanted to get this record to fans, the press, radio, etc., all at the exact same time so that no one has an upper hand on anyone else regarding [its] availability, reception or perception,” the band said.

It’s the latest indication that bands (and a few record companies) are wising up to the idea that the long lag time between finishing an album and actually releasing it to set up a proper awareness-building campaign is bad business. Now, it’s not unusual for fans on blogs and message boards to share unauthorized files of an album and dissect its contents weeks before its official release date. It’s a world in which a new album is often already old news by the time it shows up for sale on iTunes, Best Buy or the local mom-and-pop store.

After giving the record a couple listens, track four, “Old Enough” stands out. It opens with acoustic instruments and a from-the-hills-of-Tennessee feel. The lyrical setup is also intriguing. “You look pretty in your fancy dress, but I detect unhappiness. You never speak so I have to guess you’re not free.”