Consolers of the Lonely "I am big. It's the pictures that got small." Sunset Boulevard 's unhinged silver-screen diva Norma Desmond spoke these immortal words more than half a… Consolers of the Lonely "I am big. It's the pictures that got small." Sunset Boulevard 's unhinged silver-screen diva Norma Desmond spoke these immortal words more than half a… 2008-03-25 The Raconteurs Rock
Music Review

Consolers of the Lonely (2008)

The Raconteurs | GRAND TEURS Jack White (pictured, left, with bandmates Patrick Keeler, Jack Lawrence, and Brendan Benson) bow down to classic-rock gods on their second album, Consolers…
Image credit: Stephen Berkman
GRAND TEURS Jack White (pictured, left, with bandmates Patrick Keeler, Jack Lawrence, and Brendan Benson) bow down to classic-rock gods on their second album, Consolers of the Lonely
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Mar 25, 2008; Lead Performance: The Raconteurs; Genre: Rock

''I am big. It's the pictures that got small.'' Sunset Boulevard's unhinged silver-screen diva Norma Desmond spoke these immortal words more than half a century ago, but the claim could easily transpose itself to Consolers of the Lonely, a brawny, joyful plundering of the classic-rock catalog. Where other indie-rooted artists laboriously perfect their tributes to the same few touchstones — the Velvet Underground, Pixies, Sonic Youth — Jack White, Brendan Benson, and their fellow Raconteurs hitch country and long-haired funk to a boisterous blooze-rock wagon with nary a nod to subtlety or art-school cool.

White's always had a thing for burly Zeppelin riffs and Opryland theatrics, of course — the White Stripes were built on these well-worn blocks, as was the Raconteurs' '06 debut, Broken Boy Soldiers, and its hit ''Steady, as She Goes.'' Here, piano chords shudder and leap, guitars slither, horns roll in like storm clouds. Bad Company, Queen, and the Guess Who shake hands on muscular anthems like ''Many Shades of Black,'' ''Rich Kid Blues,'' and ''Hold Up,'' while Waylon Jennings ghost-rides on the back-porch ballad ''Carolina Drama''; it's as if the boys are channeling a high school parking lot's history of doobies, Trans Ams, and RadioShack subwoofers into one glorious blast. The result is neither refined nor especially modern, but it still evokes the thrill of playing hooky on a Friday afternoon. B+
DOWNLOAD THIS: See the video for ''Salute Your Solution'' at theraconteurs.com

Originally posted Mar 25, 2008 Published in issue #985 Apr 04, 2008 Order article reprints