Universal acclaim - based on 24 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
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  1. Jun 21, 2019
    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. And in that sense, Help Us Stranger succeeds, and then some.
  2. Jun 12, 2019
    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. Almost every track here is another example of one that would never have reached the same heights without the contributions of each band member.
  3. Oct 4, 2019
    Help Us Stranger moves garage-punk polymath Jack White from the Sixties to the Seventies. And from the sounds of things, he, Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence, and Patrick Keeler did it in Z/28 with an 8-track player and a hash pipe.
  4. Jun 21, 2019
    Mostly, though, “Help Us” is a simple, effective return to form for fans of White who continue to hold out hope that a new White Stripes album may one day arrive. That prayer isn’t likely to pay dividends, but with the Raconteurs’ latest offering, listeners can at least take solace in the best consolation prize possible. More importantly, this album is timely proof that White may actually be at his best when he’s constrained by the framework of collaboration.
  5. Jul 8, 2019
    The Raconteurs have found the sweet spot between quality songwriting and tight musicianship, and both the blustering boogie and longing ballads present throughout the album shouldn't be considered empty-headed guilty pleasures.
  6. Jun 27, 2019
    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.
  7. Jun 26, 2019
    Leading The Raconteurs, the restlessly inventive maverick White and the sunnier, more straightforward tunesmith Benson really do complement each other well, mixing thrilling aggression with focused sweetness. White may have a much higher profile, but Benson brings a positive, restraining influence to some of his partner’s self-indulgent tendencies.
  8. Jun 24, 2019
    The result is Help Us Stranger, the group’s richest batch of songs to date.
  9. 80
    It’s a full-bodied album and a journey--a journey we hope it doesn’t take them another decade to make again. Hopefully Jack’s telegram reaches his bandmates a little quicker next time.
  10. Jun 21, 2019
    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.
  11. 80
    This is music that sounds as fun to make as it is to listen to. The energy here is thrilling, the strong rhythm section provided by former Detroit garage band The Greenhornes’ bassist Jack Lawrence and drummer Patrick Keeler. ... Help Us Stranger has been a long time coming, but it was worth the wait.
  12. Jun 18, 2019
    Compared to White's solo albums, Help Us Stranger feels like a low-stakes romp. And for a collaborative side-project, this is the best case scenario. 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.
  13. Jun 18, 2019
    Picking up exactly where they left off, The Raconteurs’ denim-clad early ‘70s reference points are in check, delivered in gleeful, exuberant, electrifying fashion.
  14. 80
    From the throbbing Led Zeppelin-styled hard rock of “Don’t Bother Me” (complete with short drum solo), to the following Elton John/10cc influenced piano ballad “Shine The Light On Me” and the riff-rawk driven “What’s Yours is Mine,” these four guys play together like a well-oiled machine, not one that has been idle for a decade.
  15. Uncut
    Jun 13, 2019
    There's no shortage of invention and genre mashes to prick up the ears here. [Aug 2019, p.34]
  16. Mojo
    Jun 12, 2019
    The Raconteurs offers a much more straightforward and enjoyable 42 minutes [than Boarding House Reach]. [Jul 2019, p.84]
  17. Q Magazine
    Jun 12, 2019
    Help Us Stranger is Jack White and Brendan Benson's love letter to classic rock. [Summer 2019, p.114]
  18. Jun 21, 2019
    Help Us Stranger brims with unapologetic rock songs that mine ‘60s and ‘70s signifiers without getting stuck there. Yet it’s the ballads that give the album its unexpected emotional heft.
  19. Jun 21, 2019
    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 won’t save rock and roll, but they’ll certainly help us pass the time until we find whoever will.
  20. Jun 26, 2019
    The negative bits that afflict the songwriters individually--clunky lyrics, a tendency to trend towards clutter, influences taking up whole damn sleeves--certainly remain here, but somehow, together, the couple’s issues never overwhelm, never distract from the Raconteurs’ thesis statement of just making great, concise rock songs.
  21. Jun 24, 2019
    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.
  22. Jun 19, 2019
    The music is textured and production exquisite as layers of sounds and instrumentation ring clear, but if there is a weakness it is that lyrically the album is lacking. White and Benson both come off as blasé at times not offering much in the way of memorable lines, disengaging while moving towards generalities.
  23. Jun 26, 2019
    The songs of Help Us Stranger often succeed only because they succeeded before, decades ago, as better songs.
  24. Jun 21, 2019
    Help Me Stranger swirls with so many ideas that it’s impossible to physically hear everything that’s going on. 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.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 59 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 59
  2. Negative: 4 out of 59
  1. Jun 28, 2021
    Copy of a copy of a copy. Incredibly uninspired and boring! Why don’t you try something new for a change?!
  2. Jun 24, 2019
    All White's unhooked wildness meshes impeccably with Benson's instinctive melody to create a seemingly effortless romp through 60s and 70sAll White's unhooked wildness meshes impeccably with Benson's instinctive melody to create a seemingly effortless romp through 60s and 70s influences, from Donavan to Led Zeppelin. Ultimately it's still uniquely "The Raconteurs" and immensely re-playable! Full Review »
  3. Apr 12, 2023
    Overcompressed and tired. I believe the only reason people listen to this is simply that Jack White is in it. The composition is so simpleOvercompressed and tired. I believe the only reason people listen to this is simply that Jack White is in it. The composition is so simple and redundant it's remarkable. An AI would write better guitar licks and riffs if it was fed a random high school rock band. Full Review »