AOTY 2021

Help Us Stranger

The Raconteurs - Help Us Stranger
Critic Score
Based on 28 reviews
2019 Ratings: #411 / 770
User Score
Based on 344 ratings
2019 Ratings: #559
Liked by 12 people
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Slant Magazine

Help Us Stranger is another compelling exhibit in the band’s continuing quest to prove that there’s still more to be mined from the supposedly anachronistic guitar-rock template.


The beauty of The Raconteurs is in the timeless joy of hearing two world-class songwriters, cut from two very different sides of a similar cloth, come together to make something if not greater, then at least as good as the sum of their considerable parts.


Purely and simply the sound of a group of musicians having the absolute time of their lives.

American Songwriter

The ease with which they fall into these songs, picking up where they left off on 2008’s Consolers Of The Lonely, shows the four piece has a connection that may transcend the music.


White and Benson aren't trying to reinvent rock'n'roll, they're just bashing out some catchy tunes, and it's a blast to listen in on these old friends reconnecting.

The Independent

This is music that sounds as fun to make as it is to listen to.


Despite this contemporary flair, what keeps Help Us Stranger lively is how the Raconteurs blend and mix barbed pop and blues skronk so their classicism seems fresh, not stale.


The supergroup return with a smooth and bluesy ride to provide a very analogue album for a digital world.

Rolling Stone

Help Us Stranger and Let’s Rock are simply great records from very different bands coming from the same ideals: Rock is a living thing, and guitars can be your best friends in the war on jive.

Spill Magazine

Without losing the folky, rockabilly vibes of a classic Raconteurs album, the band has pushed its limits and more than succeeded.


Albums like Help Us Stranger – which are infused with an almost effortless range – remind us that this is a band with a multitude of gifts. Not dead yet, indeed.


There’s no shortage of invention and genre mashes to prick up the ears here.

Consequence of Sound

There’s nothing new under the sun or on this record, but when the riffs are crisp and the harmonies tight, that’s a complaint that’s at least a couple of spots down the list.


The Raconteurs’ third album may not reach the heights of Consolers of the Lonely, and with its dedication to no-frills, FM rock ‘n roll, it already sounds slightly dated, but it’s the purest, most fun music either White or Benson have put out in over a decade.


A fun romp through the most succinct Jack White material in a decade, a collection of songs that will thrill crowds across the world until White moves on to whatever his next project is.

Northern Transmissions

Whereas Consolers moved as a perfect, smooth mass, Help Us Stranger is a bumpy ride over plenty of flat terrain.

Loud and Quiet

As fun as all this let-the-good-times-roll hardened power pop is, it couldn’t have been more fun than making it.

FLOOD Magazine

At its best, Help Us Stranger feels like a sandbox album—a convincing argument that all the tropes you can still hear on your local classic rock station remain endlessly malleable, open to interpretation and reappraisal with each new generation.

God Is in the TV

They do what they do very well at points on Help Us Stranger, you just get the feeling they could have taken their time and shed some of the filler.


There are few surprises on Help Us Stranger, but that tends to be the case when you’re in the hands of capable adults.

The Guardian

The energy and exhilaration of the collaborative process might be palpable, but in its weaker moments Help Us Stranger sounds like the worst kind of compromise – cluttered, ill-defined and lacking the clarity of vision that once charged its driving forces.


They’re not back to reinvent the wheel - but they do remind us that old school rock and roll is at its best when it doesn’t try and take itself dead serious.

Spectrum Culture

We’ve seen that White is capable of inflicting more compelling strangeness than we get here. Hearing him just make a rock record feels like a step backwards.

The Needle Drop

Bombastic production isn't enough to save Help Us Stranger's often shabby songwriting.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you: Jack White Tries to Bring Back Blues Attempt #15!

The Raconteurs are a group I have for some strange reason avoided in my Jack White-stanning life. Not for any malicious reason, mostly just because I haven't found the time. I've heard great stuff about the groups debut Broken Boy Soldiers, and have heard that Consolers of The Lonely aint too shabby either. But for some reason, while i'm a massive fan of Jack Whites other projects, this is a weirdly ... read more
So in 2019 when this came out, I remember listening to it and loving it a ton because I was really into Jack White when it came out. Soon after, saw that they were coming to my area and I got some friends and we went. It was a crazy concert, and it was a really great night. I was sort of close to the front, so Jack White was looming over us shredding the shit out of his guitar. They sounded fantastic, and they are all extremely talented. I’ve been to many concerts, but that one was ... read more
Rock supergroup, The Raconteurs make a decently respectable return to form on “Help us Stranger”

This will probably be on rock radio for the foreseeable future
"Help Us Stranger" starts off great with plenty of witty writing, crunchy riffs and the amount of raw energy you would expect from a Jack White project. But after "Don't Bother Me", a fantastic track that feels so purely White Stripes, the record stumbles in the middle with a lackluster Donovan cover and one of the clunkiest hooks Jack has ever written. It does start to pick up afterward with a few more great tracks, but it doesn't feel as invigorating as the first third. ... read more
overall, this album is good, but some of Jack's most forgettable tracks of all time show up on this album. The less Hard Rock oriented tracks on here definitely fall a little flat, but there are definitely great tracks amidst the gunk.
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Track List

  1. Bored and Razed
  2. Help Me Stranger
  3. Only Child
  4. Don't Bother Me
  5. Shine the Light on Me
  6. Somedays (I Don't Feel Like Trying)
  7. Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness)
  8. Sunday Driver
  9. Now That You're Gone
  10. Live a Lie
  11. What's Yours is Mine
  12. Thoughts and Prayers
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Added on: April 2, 2019