Not content with being one of the coolest people on the planet, being half of The White Stripes, acting and working with Bob Dylan, Jack White still find time to be in his side project The Raconteurs whose debut album ‘Broken Boy Soldiers’ far eclipsed the last two efforts from his red and white clad duo. So it was always hanging in the balance as to whether another record would surface what with Jack’s workload and it wasn’t until Meg got ill and cancelled a load of tour dates that it seemed it may just happen and lo and behold recorded just a few weeks ago and rushed released ‘Consolers of the lonely’ has landed today. At 14 tracks it is much longer than its predecessor and from first impressions a lot more upbeat. It has trademark guitar licks from White and harmonies between him and Benson, the backbone of drums and bass are also pretty solid but, and its something the last Stripes album suffered from, Jacks obsession with all things Celtic and Spanish means there’s bizarre banjos, mariachi horn sections and even fiddles that makes some of the songs sound like the Levellers. Where they rock out it really works but where they go into these weird experimental phases it just sounds wrong like a band who are not quite sure what they are. Consequently the album dips and peaks, the opening two tracks are great, there is a brilliant slow ballad in the middle and the album closer is a corker. There are moments of genius as a genuine rock band perform some balls out tunes but they unfortunately let themselves down by letting Jack ‘experiment’ with sounds from around the globe. There is nothing as memorable as ‘Steady as she goes’ here but there are some great songs, sadly the album could have been a lot better if Jack stuck to playing the guitar instead of indulging in all things weird and wonderful and I’m amazed the rest of the band were so into it. So not as good as the first, better than the Stripes and half as good as it could be, it maybe interesting to hear it played live with just the four of them all stripped down rock with none of the other annoying instruments.