Broken Boy Soldiers Third Man/V2 Music •• Sound •••½
The Raconteurs could've been a power-pop fan's dream, since one of the frontmen is deserved cult hero Brendan Benson - and the other is the White Stripes' Jack White. But this is more like a power-pop version of the Little Willies, a genre exercise that exists mainly to show how much fun everyone's having. Instead of developing a melody for leadoff track "Steady, As She Goes," the Raconteurs take a chorus hook and run it into the ground. And the song ends with a Beatles mellotron riff, which serves no purpose other than to say, "Hey, we're referencing the Beatles!" After that, it's just a matter of time - the next two songs, actually - before they get to the requisite Cheap Trick soundalike and the obligatory Led Zeppelin takeoff. Only on the rare occasions when these guys shift into acoustic mode can you tell how this might've sounded if they'd made a real pop album and not a near-parody of one.