A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the Raconteurs look ghastly in the liner notes of their CD, appearing in black and white with bloody facial bruises. But songwriters Jack White (of The White Stripes) and Brendan Benson drop eccentric lyrics that never stray toward explicit -- or scary -- content. Just don't expect a two-person show like The White Stripes; instead the Raconteurs debut with a Grammy-nominated team effort in peak rock-'n'-roll form.
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What's the story?
At the heart of BROKEN BOY SOLDIERS is the inspiration of old pals making music together in an attic -- exactly what happened when buddies Jack White, Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence, and Patrick Keeler collided. Lead singer Jack White of The White Stripes produces yet another tight sensation with the Raconteurs, without taking away the spotlight from the rest of the group. The Raconteurs have a vital element in their gold-star formula: a cohesive authentic group sound. "Steady as She Goes" reinforces the rhythm section with relentless tribal-like buzzing collaborative vocals. If you listen closely, you'll be curiously charmed by the songs that think outside grungier rock such as the mellowed-out, blues-influenced tracks, "Together," "Yellow Sun," and "Call It a Day."
Is it any good?
The band is happily bringing back bona fide rock 'n' roll; other surprises thrown into the mix are subtle power-pop nuances and clear classic rock worship with synchronized dual guitar riffs. Achieving balance is Broken Boy Soldier's exceptional strength, along with remarkable fluidity, expert instrumental prowess, and crystallized production. The group is a headstrong band that pays homage to the greats of the1960s and '70s (think Led Zeppelin and The Beatles), lightly fusing eclectic sounds that appeal to the current indie rock scene.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what happens when a member of a band forms a new band. How does the sound change? Do you think it's a good idea to do side projects? Why or why not? How can musicians learn from their past experiences in a band? Parents can also encourage their kids to explore genres of music that influence a band; in the case of the Raconteurs, psychedelic or strictly blues.