June 8, 2006

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The Raconteurs, Broken Boy Soldiers
V2, 2006

If years of listening to rock n’ roll have taught me anything, it’s that side-projects usually suck and the main project is usually on some sort of hiatus. Luckily, only the latter is true with Jack White’s latest project, The Raconteurs.

On Broken Boy Soldiers, White doesn’t stray far from his classic rock machine, using Zeppelin-esque riffs and Beatles psychedelia. But what’s most surprising is that much of the record has a genuine anachronistic quality that is hard to find among the conglomerate of retrofit artists attempting to choke the soul out of rock’s forefathers (cough, Wolfmother!).

The single and opening track, “Steady As She Goes,” hardly stands as a decent taste of Broken Boy Soldiers, for it sounds like your typical White Stripes single. With that out of the way, you are free to embark on a journey of new rock from another era. “Together” and “Level” shine through as crown jewels on this outing with lyricism as quotable as “one and one is three.” No track falls short here; some are merely better than others, making for one of the most enjoyable audio experiences this year.

I’m not going to claim that Broken Boy Soldiers is like listening to Houses Of The Holy for the first time, but it’s pretty damn close and Jack White still holds the title as this century’s most reliably good artist. A

— Dan Brian


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