Raconteurs | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader


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The Raconteurs have been tagged a Jack White side project, but there's nothing that sounds second-rate to me on the quartet's debut, Broken Boy Soldiers (V2/Third Man). White's more annoying blues-rock proclivities are nicely softened by Brendan Benson's power-pop urges, and Benson's songwriting is toughened up by the rhythm section of bassist Jack Lawrence and drummer Patrick Keeler, both from the garage band the Greenhornes. The songs on Broken Boy Soldiers have a Stripes-like immediacy and rawness--particularly the splintered guitar breaks on "Hands" and White's trademark faux-Robert Plant whine on "Broken Boy Soldier"--and those rough edges make the blatant pop touches hit all the harder. It sounds like a 70s record with more than a few 60s elements--I hear bits of Thin Lizzy, the Yardbirds, the Beatles, Joe Jackson, and even Elton John--but the band plays with such gusto it erases any retro residue. White's shtick still bugs me, but he's shut me up here. See also Sunday. The Features open. a 7:30 PM, Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine, 773-275-6800 or 312-559-1212, sold out. A

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