Broken Boy Soldiers
By: Eric Greenwood
Jack White's teaming up with power-pop soloist Brendan Benson and the rhythm section of the Greenhornes hardly constitutes a "supergroup" in my book, but, perhaps, that is more a testament to White's gigantic rock star stature than it is a reflection on the current state of "supergroups." But is anyone really itching for another Traveling Wilburys?
White and Benson are both extremely talented songwriters in their own right, yet the former edges out the latter in both passion and mysterious cool. So, expectedly, White's songs are edgier, far more rocking affairs than Benson's, whose lyrics tend to blah into vanilla with rudimentary rhyming schemes even a novice knows better than to employ.
The first single, White's "Steady as She Goes", has an immediate hook, despite being married to a whiff of '70's AOR radio cheese, but it's certainly the most accessible song on Broken Boy Soldiers by a long shot. White buries his eccentricities enough to pretend to belong in a group as underwhelming as this, but, when he lets loose, his penchant for 60's psychedelia and classic hard-rock shines.
Broken Boy Soldiers is little more than a masturbatory experiment that allows White to flex his artistic muscles more freely than the limited dynamic of The White Stripes' self-imposed constraints.