eMusic Review 0
In a dark corner of every post-boomer's brain lurks a crippling doubt: was rock & roll really better in the '60s? Can Stipe, Kiedis and Kravitz outflank Joplin, Morrison and Hendrix, or are subsequent generations doomed to retread? No whippersnapper digs the past quite like Jack White, and the Raconteurs, his latest excursion from the White Stripes, is quite a mining operation. Jamming in a Detroit attic with singer-songwriter Brendan Benson and Greenhornes rhythm section Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler, White lets the classic-rock motifs fly: Robert Plant caterwauls ("Broken Boy Soldier"), Pink Floyd keyboard diddles("Intimate Secretary," "Level"), Captain Beefheart guitar spikes. The traded lead vocals evoke Lennon-McCartney, with Benson musing about girls and sunshine while White mopes about materialism and compromise. The vibe is loose, but the licks are hot, almost show-offy — someone alert Pamela Des Barres. White and Co. seem less interested in homage than in living up to a high standard: playing music for the love of it, and nothing more. It's grown hard to imagine rock & roll without him. So young 'uns, take heart: you have Jack White, and your parents didn't.