Jesse Jarnow

“yellow sun” – the raconteurs

“Yellow Sun” – The Raconteurs (download here)
from Broken Boy Soliders (2006)
released by V2 (buy)

(file expires June 16th.)

There’s so much very-good music out there that finding something really remarkable becomes a surprisingly difficult task. Sometimes, I fret that my inner harddrive has filled up, and that I’ll never fall in love with a new album again, and have it — most every song — be part of me. I’m honestly not sure how long The Raconteurs’ Broken Boy Soldiers will stick with me. But, if one function of an album is to be a collection of little moments that I remember (and hopefully smile at) when I’m not listening to it, then — this season, anyway — Broken Boy Soldiers is pure sugar. There are parts that are pure fluff, but catchy-ass, immensely likeable fluff.

“Yellow Sun” isn’t my favorite song on the album (that’d probably be “Intimate Secretary”), but two separate hooks have sunk their teeth into me of late. The first is the way Brendan Benson sings “the phase of the moon,” with a little melodic swoop on the “of the.” I went around for days trying to figure out what song it was from. The second is the way the Rhodes sounds against the strummed acoustic guitar. It’s just a really pleasing, appropriate combination.

Oddly, the parts of the song I really love and remember all take place in the first minute-and-a-half. After that, Benson and Jack White dismantle the innocence of the first two verses (“and if the sun should follow us into your room, the courage would be robbed from me, to tell you the truth”), which is a totally clever way to introduce a narrative, just neat songwriting, but not what releases the happy stuff into my brain. And that’s okay, because when I think about the song, I — by definition — rarely remember any of the things that aren’t hooks, and when I actually listen to it, it’s clever enough to sustain.

Much of Broken Boy Soldiers is imperfect, but much of it isn’t, especially when the sun is out.