Consolers of the lonely

Consolers of the Lonely
The Raconteurs
Released March 25, 2008
Recorded February 2008 Blackbird Recording Studio D, Nashville TN
Genre Alternative rock, blues rock
Length 55:30
Label Third Man, Warner Bros.
Producer Jack White III, Brendan Benson
The Raconteurs chronology

Broken Boy Soldiers
Consolers of the Lonely
Singles from Consolers Of The Lonely
  1. "Salute Your Solution"
    Released: March 25, 2008
  2. "Many Shades Of Black"
    Released: August 25, 2008
  3. "Old Enough"
    Released: October 21, 2008
  4. "Consolers Of The Lonely"
    Released: 2008

Consolers of the Lonely is the second album by American rock band The Raconteurs. It was released on March 25, 2008 on Warner Bros. Records in most parts of the world, and a day earlier on XL Recordings in the UK.[1]

The band did no promotion before the album's release, and its existence was only confirmed a week before. Even so, the record was accidentally leaked by iTunes, and some fans managed to purchase the album early.[2] It is available on CD, vinyl, and MP3. A video for the first single from the album, "Salute Your Solution" was released on the same day. The album earned a nomination for Best Rock Album at the 51st Grammy Awards.


The band premiered "Five on the Five" during their last tour. The title of the record comes from the inscription in the side of a Washington, D.C. post office written by Charles William Eliot,[3] which reads in full:

Messenger of sympathy and love, servant of parted friends, consoler of the lonely, bond of the scattered family, enlarger of the common life.[4]


According to the band, the album was finished during the first week in March and was released less than three weeks later.[5] For a band of their stature, the release of Consolers of the Lonely with no promotion was highly unorthodox. Music critics and commentators largely saw it as a way to eschew critics and deal directly with fans.[6] The Observer called it "one of the most exciting musical events of 2008."[7] Despite the already rapid release time and efforts to secure the date, the record was briefly available for purchase on iTunes Friday, March 21.[8]

Critical response

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[9]
The A.V. Club B−[10]
EW B+[11]
Fasterlouder 4.5/5 stars[12]
MusicOMH 4/5 stars[13]
NME (7/10)[14]
NY Times (favorable)[15]
Pitchfork Media (7.4/10)[16]
Q 3/5 stars[17]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[18]
Time Off 4.5/5 stars[19]
GlideMagazine 4.5/5 stars[20]

Critique of Consolers of the Lonely was mostly positive; much of it centered on the chaotic sound and diverse nature of the album as well as its resemblance to albums by Led Zeppelin and The Who.[4][21] According to The Toronto Star, "White's bent Americana and Benson's British invasion-isms yields wonderfully unpredictable results".[22] Kitty Empire of The Observer called the album "lively" and said it "finds [the Raconteurs] luxuriating in fancy stuff with kid-in-a-sweetshop enthusiasm. Minimalism is out, bombast is in; the detail, is, as ever, lip-smacking."[7] Commenting on the band's chemistry and freeness, Rolling Stone said the album is "a blissfully stoned conversation between White and Benson about their favorite bands: Led Zeppelin, the Who, Badfinger," though it added, "that freedom is not always satisfying."[4] Austin-American Statesmen said "it's a weirdly overblown and curiously dull album," and complained about its production.[23] The New York Times echoed those statements about the "chaos" of the album, but concluded that "that desperation only makes the crunch of the music more euphoric."[21] The Guardian found that on Consolers of the Lonely, the Raconteurs "establish a firm, emotionally charged identity of their own" and called the effort "flawed but ragged glory."[24] Allmusic concluded that the album is a "lop-sided, bottom-loaded album that's better and richer than their debut."[25]

The album was nominated for Best Rock Album and won Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical at the 51st Grammy Awards. The album ranked No. 44 on Rolling Stone's year-end critic's list and No. 35 on Spin Magazine's year-end Top 40 albums.[26][27]

The album was ranked the #4 Album of the Decade[28] by Glide Magazine.[29]

Chart positions

The album debuted at #7 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling about 42,000 copies in its first week.[30] It debuted at #8 on the UK Album Chart, #4 on the Canadian Album Chart, and #50 on the Australian ARIA chart on the 7th of April, 2008 based on digital downloads. However, the CD was released on the 5th of April, thus allowing the album the next week to ascend 32 places to reach its peak position thus far of #18 due to physical sales.

Chart (2008) Peak
Certification Sales/
Canadian Album Chart 4 -
US Billboard 200 7 - 50,000
UK Albums Chart 8 Gold 100,000
Australian ARIA Chart 18 -

Album cover

The stage portrayed on the cover of the album depicts three signs for Tennessee, Michigan, and Ohio. These signs refer to the fact that the band members currently reside in Tennessee, but Brendan Benson and Jack White are originally from Michigan, while Patrick Keeler and Jack Lawrence are originally from Ohio. After being folded out the scene then depicts the band on stage with a woman exiting from a door in the back. It also has a sign that says "The Raconteurs" and another that says the albums title. Once opened up, it is noticed that the stage is empty and the bass drum in the back says "Sanitary Workers Band."

The cover may also be a reference to Steely Dan's Pretzel Logic.

Track listing

All songs by Brendan Benson and Jack White, except "Rich Kid Blues" by Terry Reid.

No. Title Length
1. "Consoler of the Lonely"   3:26
2. "Salute Your Solution"   3:00
3. "You Don't Understand Me"   4:53
4. "Old Enough"   3:58
5. "The Switch and the Spur"   4:24
6. "Hold Up"   3:27
7. "Top Yourself"   4:26
8. "Many Shades of Black"   4:25
9. "Five on the Five"   3:33
10. "Attention"   3:40
11. "Pull This Blanket Off"   1:59
12. "Rich Kid Blues"   4:34
13. "These Stones Will Shout"   3:54
14. "Carolina Drama"   5:55
Total length:



The Raconteurs




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