Consolers of the Lonely
On one level, this is a fantastic reminder that great musicians can get into a studio and, without too much fiddling, come out with a better-than-average disc. The Jack White side-project from The White Stripes produced a few highlights on the 'debut'. Thankfully, Brendan Benson has been toned down for this second go, with the result that it comes off like a lusher White Stripes album. 'Thankfully' if you're a White Stripes fan, that is.
Benson brings a different feel to his couple of songs, but it only takes some squeezed out lead guitar from White to bring it back to base. With mariachi horns, violin and a whole bunch of instruments thrown onto some pretty basic songs, Consolers is a fun listen, although there are no standout songs - no Steady As She Goes classics this time. There isn't a throwaway song in the 14 songs here, so it's easy to see why 14 made the cut. Unfortunately, the absence of standouts does reduce the imperative to get hold of this album - it's a nice addition to the Jack White canon, but doesn't move the game on. Still, better that this kind of album sees the light than remains an idea or litter on a cutting room floor.