The Raconteurs — Help Us Stranger (June 21, 2019)                        The Raconteurs — Help Us Stranger (June 21, 2019) Pamela MÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃéndez ÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃÃâ Time (22 Feb 2019)Location: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Album release: June 21, 2019
Record Label: Third Man Records
Duration:     41:19
01. Bored and Razed   3:36
02. Help Me Stranger   3:36
03. Only Child   3:41
04. Don’t Bother Me   2:54
05. Shine the Light On Me   3:28
06. Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying)   4:06
07. Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness)   2:26
08. Sunday Driver   3:39
09. Now That You’re Gone   4:01
10. Live a Lie   2:21
11. What’s Yours Is Mine   2:49
12. Thoughts and Prayers   4:42
Jack White vocals, guitar, keyboards, organ, piano, stylophone, mandolin
Jack Lawrence bass guitar, banjo, backing vocals
Brendan Benson vocals, guitar, keyboards, organ, piano
Patrick Keeler drums, percussion
•    “Little” Jack Lawrence (born December 18, 1976) is an American musician from Covington, Kentucky, currently living in Nashville, Tennessee.
•    The Raconteurs — Jack White, Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence, and Patrick Keeler — have announced the release of their long-awaited new album, HELP US STRANGER, which is the GRAMMY Award~ winning rock band’s third studio LP and first new album in more than a decade.
•    Out on Friday, June 21, HELP US STRANGER sees the mighty combo reassembled, stronger and perhaps even more vital than ever before as they continue to push rock ‘n’ roll forward into its future, bonding prodigious riffs, blues power, sinewy psychedelia, Detroit funk, and Nashville soul via Benson and White’s uncompromising songcraft and the band’s steadfast musical muscle. With HELP US STRANGER, The Raconteurs have returned right when they are needed most, unified and invigorated with boundless ambition, infinite energy and a collectivist spirit operating at the peak of its considerable powers, once again creating a sound and fury only possible when all four of its members come together.
•    White and Benson wrote all the songs on HELP US STRANGER except one cover, “Hey Gyp (Dig The Slowness),” which was written by Donovan. Recorded at Third Man Studio in Nashville, TN, the album was produced by The Raconteurs and engineered by Joshua V. Smith. Longtime friends and musical collaborators helped make HELP US STRANGER, including keyboardist/multiinstrumentalist Dean Fertita (The Dead Weather, Queens of the Stone Age) and Lillie Mae Rische and her sister Scarlett Rische. The album was mixed by Vance Powell and The Raconteurs at Blackbird Studios in Nashville.
By Alex Hudson, Published Jun 18, 2019. Score: 8
•    Jack White is coming off of the weirdest album of his career, last year’s solo effort Boarding House Reach, so Help Us Stranger marks his return to more traditional guitar rock. The Raconteurs — also featuring co~frontman Brendan Benson, bassist Jack Lawrence and drummer Patrick Keeler — have always brought out White’s retro side, and after a 11~year break between albums, this LP picks up right where the band left off.
•    Help Us Stranger touches on both the garage pop sweetness of 2006’s Broken Boy Soldiers and the country rock sprawl of 2008’s Consolers of the Lonely. The former comes out in the soaring choruses of “Bored and Razed” and the understand prettiness of “Only Child”; the latter is in the stately piano of “Shine the Light on Me” and the rustic fiddles of closer “Thoughts and Prayers.” And the group spice things up with the occasional experiment, like the squelchy robo~guitar intro of “Sunday Driver” or the hip~hop swagger of “What’s Yours Is Mine.”
•    But more than any specific genre exercise, Help Us Stranger mostly sounds like a fun jam sesh among friends. The 12 songs are full of raw rock riffs and freewheeling structural changes: “Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying)” begins as smooth folk rock before shifting gears into a life~affirming sing~along finale, while “Don’t Bother Me” overcomes some corny kids~these~days lyrics on the strength of its white~knuckle fuzz licks.
•    Compared to White’s solo albums, Help Us Stranger feels like a low~stakes romp. And for a collaborative side~project, this is the best case scenario. White and Benson aren’t trying to reinvent rock’n’roll, they’re just bashing out some catchy tunes, and it’s a blast to listen in on these old friends reconnecting.