The Black Keys
Submitted by tiggerlion on 22 May 2014 - 11:18pm
What's it called?:
What does it sound like?:
Everything about this record is huge. There are epic melodies, big choruses, floor drums resonating through the earth, guitar solos echoing through the stratosphere and an all-enveloping bass. It is stately, authoritative and rigorous, a record made by a band three albums into its imperial phase. Essentially, it's the work of three men, Dan Auerbach on guitars, keys and vocals, Patrick Carney on drums and Brian Burton (Dangermouse) on keyboards. Less frenetic than its predecessor, El Camino, they embellish their rock template with a blues feel and are confident enough to experiment with falsetto vocals, elements of dance, string-like backing and a gentle piano ballad. Never self-indulgent, even on extended guitar solos, the music is given room to breathe and is all the better for it. Turn Blue is already an irresistible commercial success and will be ubiquitous on the radio and in bars throughout the summer. It's probably wise to surrender now. The discerning Afterworder might like it.
What does it all *mean*?:
The Black Keys are shaping up to being THE rock band of the teenies. Three great albums in a row since 2010. Their relationship with Dangermouse is the equivalent of Talking Heads' with Eno. It may not last for ever, so enjoy it while you can.
Goes well with …:
A hot day, cold beer, double denim, open-air stadiums (Glastonbury?), basement clubs, a rock-chick/rock-guy on the arm, whistling with fingers, a rebel outlook, a willingness to turn up to eleven, living in the moment and a devil-may-care attitude.
Might suit people who like …:
Free. This album reminded me of the carefully constructed, unhurried Free albums of the seventies. The Black Keys are a rock band with a broad scope and a real desire to progress musically, whilst succeeding commercially. Long may they reign.