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A little something on the side… (pt. 4) - A little something on the side…

2008-07-17 12:00
Lesson 3: It pays to have famous friends

Jack White could be considered a particularly philanthropic rock star, helping out his less well-known musician buddies reach the kind of adoring audience he’s been able to with The White Stripes.

Or perhaps the set-up of a two-man (OK, one man-one woman) band proved too restrictive for the singer? Either way, The Raconteurs have allowed Jack White to explore his oddball pop tendencies that the harder-edged White Stripes may not have allowed.

White’s fellow Raconteur, Brendon Benson, has released critically adored but commercially flaccid solo albums for nearly a decade. But lucky for him, he has a very famous rock star friend who is happy to take a back-up role in his new band, and happily this has exposed the world to his unique voice and singular pop talents.

Also making up the band are Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler of The Greenhornes. Never heard of ‘em either? Precisely, as that was likely to be the case forever after had it not been for the magical hand of friend Jack White and his irrepressible creative impulse.

The Raconteurs insist their formation was not by any planned means, and the affability of their music certainly hints at the ease and familiarity that exists between the mates who created it.

With more toys to play with as a four-piece, The Raconteurs gives Jack White the opportunity to clean up the grimy, swamp rock sound he fostered with fellow Stripe Meg White, sounding almost laidback. First album Broken Boy Soldiers was a joyful trip to 60s and 70s pop bliss that may have come to a shock to many who assumed Jack White’s default setting was dark and raw.

For their second album, The Raconteurs stirred things up by releasing Consolers of the Lonely just weeks after recording ended, and without any promotional fanfare. Even though the music may be a reverent nod towards his rock and blues heroes, innovation remains White’s number one priority.

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Side. Pet. Vanity. Add the word ‘project’ to each of these and you have the hottest trend in music today.

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