Help Us Stranger

The Raconteurs

Third Man Records, 2019

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


A hell of a comeback! The number one record in the country and it’s the most rocking effort to hit the charts in years. Stripped down to its essence with a few incidental keyboards to help things out, Jack White and company have returned with an extremely exciting disc.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The one two punch of “Born And Razed” and “Help Me Stranger” really start this disc off with a bang. The latter track is one of the catchiest songs of the year with great vocals from White and Brendan Benson and a down-home vibe throughout that’s really infectious. “Only Child” is more of a slower sound that the band really attached themselves to on their last discs. Benson takes more of center stage and his voice hasn’t aged at all which is really refreshing to hear.

The bluesy almost waltz vibe of “Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying)” is a nice change of pace and works well within the realm of the rest of the record. The fast-paced rocker “Don’t Bother Me” would be great on the radio – oh, if only rock radio played real rock and roll again! “Now That You’re Gone” is perhaps the best track here; Benson and White duet nicely on a slower track that still feels like a good ol’ rock song from days past.

The oddball Donovan cover “Hey Gyp” is an interesting detour that feels more like a B-side. Meanwhile, “Sunday Driver” is a nice song for cruising that have fit in nicely in Baby Driver.

In many ways, it doesn’t feel like the band has really been away for 11 years. The chemistry between Benson, White, Lawrence and Keeler still feels as good as it did back when I was in college. What these gentlemen have come up with is one of the most exciting rock records of the year.

Rating: B+

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