The Raconteurs, Consolers of the Lonely
Official release date: March 25
The Verdict: Truth be told, we were never that crazy about the Raconteurs, probably just as much because that they kept Jack White from making White Stripes albums as for the fact that their last album was kinda boring. 2006's Broken Boy Soldiers was mostly just a plodding, Meg-less slog through a bunch of middling, prog-embellished power pop, little of which had any real hook (admittedly, though, "Steady As She Goes" is totally awesome). After a few listens, we're not sure we like Consolers of the Lonely much more. They've traded the proto-prog for a full-on (sometimes fiddle-enhanced) country sound, which actually suits them pretty well. But problem is, not many of these songs can carry the weight of their slick-ish, too big, full-band arrangements. "Many Shades of Black" might've made a great White Stripes track, though.