Consolers of the Lonely

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Consolers of the Lonely
Studio album by The Raconteurs
Released March 25, 2008
Recorded February 2008 Blackbird Recording Studio D, Nashville TN
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. "Consoler 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.[3]

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.[4] 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.[citation needed] The title of the record comes from the inscription in the side of a Washington, D.C. post office written by Charles William Eliot,[5] 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.[6]


According to the band, the album was finished during the first week in March and was released less than three weeks later.[7] 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.[8] The Observer called it "one of the most exciting musical events of 2008."[9] Despite the already rapid release time and efforts to secure the date, the record was briefly available for purchase on iTunes Friday, March 21.[10]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
The A.V. ClubB−[12]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[13]
The Guardian4/5 stars[14]
The Independent4/5 stars[15]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[18]
Spin3/5 stars[19]
Uncut4/5 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.[6][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."[9] 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."[6] 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]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2009 Consolers of the Lonely Best Rock Album Nominated
Best Engineered Non-Classical Album Won

Chart positions[edit]

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 7 April 2008, based on digital downloads. However, the CD was released on 5 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[edit]

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 album's 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[edit]

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

1."Consoler of the Lonely"3:26
2."Salute Your Solution"2:59
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
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:55:30

Release History[edit]

Region Date Label
United Kingdom March 24, 2008 XL
United States March 25, 2008 Warner Bros.



The Raconteurs[edit]




  1. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Consolers of the Lonely – The Raconteurs". AllMusic. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  2. ^ Spin review
  3. ^ "XL Recordings / 'Consolers of the Lonely' To Be Released March 25th". XL Recordings. Retrieved March 25, 2008.
  4. ^ "Did iTunes Leak Raconteurs Album Early?". Spin Magazine Online. Retrieved March 25, 2008.
  5. ^ No byline (March 18, 2008), "Raconteurs: Who are the 'Consolers Of The Lonely'?" Retrieved on 2008-04-02
  6. ^ a b c Maerz, Melissa (April 17, 2008), Consolers Of The Lonely Retrieved on 2008-04-02
  7. ^ Cohen, Jonathan (18 March 2008), "Raconteurs Album Being Rushed To Market Next Week". Billboard
  8. ^ No byline (19 March 2008), "Raconteurs' critical escape". Press Association - Premier Showbiz
  9. ^ a b Empire, Kitty (30 March 2008), "Review: Critics: Releases: CD OF THE WEEK: The Raconteurs want to tell you a story: The Raconteurs Consolers of the Lonely". The Observer. :20
  10. ^ Harding, Cortney (21 March 2008), "Raconteurs Album Hits iTunes".
  11. ^ "Reviews for Consolers Of The Lonely by The Raconteurs". Metacritic. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  12. ^ Phipps, Keith (March 25, 2008). "The Raconteurs: Consolers Of The Lonely". The A.V. Club. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  13. ^ Greenblatt, Leah (March 25, 2008). "Consolers of the Lonely". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  14. ^ Simpson, Dave (March 28, 2008). "The Raconteurs, Consolers of the Lonely". The Guardian. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  15. ^ Gill, Andy (March 28, 2008). "Album: The Raconteurs, Consolers of the Lonely (Third Man/XL)". The Independent. Archived from the original on April 3, 2008. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  16. ^ Woodhouse, Alan (March 26, 2008). "The Raconteurs: Consolers Of The Lonely". NME. Archived from the original on April 18, 2008. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  17. ^ Crock, Jason (April 1, 2008). "The Raconteurs: Consolers of the Lonely". Pitchfork. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  18. ^ Maerz, Melissa (April 17, 2008). "Consolers of the Lonely". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  19. ^ Browne, David (June 2008). "Missing Meg". Spin. 24 (6): 108. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  20. ^ "The Raconteurs: Consolers of the Lonely". Uncut (133): 99. June 2008.
  21. ^ a b Pareles, Jon (03-24-2008), "Miserable Exuberance From a Yin And Yang". The New York Times. :6
  22. ^ Rayner, Ben (25 March 2008). "CD pick of the week". The Toronto Star. p. L08.
  23. ^ No byline (30 March 2008), "No need to rush for Raconteurs' follow-up". Austin American-Statesman. :J13
  24. ^ Simpson, Dave (28 March 2008), "Film & Music: Rock & pop reviews: The Raconteurs: Consolers of the Lonely". The Guardian. :10
  25. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (undated), Review Retrieved on 2008-04-02
  26. ^ "News". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  27. ^ 12.11.08 7:32 am. "The 20 Best Albums of 2008 | 20) GNARLS BARKLEY, THE ODD COUPLE". Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  28. ^ "Glide's Best Albums Of The Decade". Glide Magazine. 2009-12-14. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  29. ^ "Music :: Culture :: Life". Glide Magazine. 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  30. ^ Katie Hasty, "Day26 Upends Danity Kane To Debut At No. 1",, April 2, 2008.
  31. ^ Certification award levels Archived July 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. IFPI. Retrieved August, 2009.