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Big Albums Sneaking Out

Of the Oakland Press

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A couple of highly anticipated sophomore albums are making surprisingly quick releases this week.

The Raconteurs — the group founded in Detroit by the White Stripes’ Jack White, Brendan Benson and the Greenhornes’ rhythm section — is bringing its second set, “Consolers of the Lonely,” out on Tuesday with just one-week’s notice. A statement issued by the band said that it wanted “to get the album to the fans as soon as possible and as we promised. We wanted to get this record to fans, the press, radio, etc., all at the exact same time so that no one has an upper hand on anyone else regarding its availability, reception or perception.

“We wanted to explore the idea of releasing an album everywhere at once and then marketing and promoting it thereafter. The Raconteurs would rather this release not be defined by its first week sales, pre-release promotion or by someone defining it for you before you get to hear it.”

The album will be available on stores and online, including a 320kb download at the Raconteurs’ Web site. iTunes and Amazon.com will sell individual songs, including the first single, “Salute Your Solution.” “Consolers...” is the follow-up to 2006’s “Broken Boy Soldiers.”

Gnarls Barkley, meanwhile, quietly snuck out its second album, “The Odd Couple,” this week after announcing an April 8 release date. The duo — Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse — “felt the timing was right to just go for it,” according to a band spokesman. “With the shifting seasons, furtive romantic entanglements and fierce college basketball rivalries, the latter half of March can be confusing. People need to be soothed and inspired now.”

“The Odd Couple” follows the 2006 smash “St. Elsewhere,” which launched the hit “Crazy.”

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