Nothing personal, Meg, but working with new playmates has set Jack White free. "I'm through ripping myself off," he asserts on the title track. If you didn't catch that, he repeats, "I'm done ripping myself off." From the lighthearted ease that oozes from every track, it's obvious that White has finally found the perfect foil for his musical talents in Detroit-bred singer-songwriter Brendan Benson and the rhythm section of the Greenhornes, Patrick Keeler, and Jack Lawrence. In effortless, psychedelic metal-pop gems like "Hands" and "Steady, As She Goes," White shows that with the weight of fronting the White Stripes off his back, he need not be first amongst equals. While the Raconteurs may not have broken any new ground with their first album, they have managed to concoct a tasty brew of crunchy electric guitar power chords, bringing to mind the mid-'60s Yardbirds lineup that briefly featured Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page and the ballsy swagger of fellow Detroit son Ted Nugent. For good measure, they even throw in a few sunshiny acoustic ballads like "Together" and "Yellow Sun." Hopefully, this too-short album (clocking in at just more than 30 minutes) isn't just a one-off sideline but a signal of things to come.
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