Broken Boy Soldiers (V2)
When Jack White takes up a hobby, he doesn't settle for needlepoint. This side project is composed of the White Stripes' frontman, his Detroit rocker pal Brendan Benson, and Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler of the Greenhornes. Their debut, as you might expect, is thoroughly classic rock. Alternately reminiscent of the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and others, Broken Boy Soldiers is an aural pleasure, even if it doesn't present the most original of sounds. White and Benson share songwriting, lead guitar and vocal responsibilities; their rarin'-for-radio single "Steady, As She Goes" is catchy, yet still off-kilter and thoughtful enough to be appreciated by downtowners. Lyrics like "Your friends have shown a kink in the single life/ You've had to much to think, now you need a wife" ought to appeal to anyone who finds Karen Elson interesting. But regardless of the band members' biographies, their material is engaging. The Raconteurs may be a throwback to the legendary bands that came before them, but it's nice to have one to call our own.