The Black Keys

tiggerlion's picture
What's it called?: 
Turn Blue
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.

Comments

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Liking this a lot. Vinyl comes with a cd, for those who like to know about these things.

Not sure yet

I love Broken Bells and if I want that polished lush production I'll listen to it there. I'm concerned its just a bit too over-produced and loses some of the 'ooomph' of earlier recordings

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He doesn't seem to rate The Black Keys, for some reason.

Just ordered BK`s newie & JW`s newie together on vinyl hope they don`t arrive scratched and warped.

El Camino has been getting a spin the last couple of weeks. If you Haven't already got it get the current Mojo compiled CD by the Black Keys - absolutely fabulous and has introduced me to a couple of new artists. If you can't get a copy pm me and I will burn a copy. It really is fantastic.

Have a good interview

http://www.npr.org/blogs/allsongs/2014/05/07/309346263/the-black-keys-tu...

It would seem that Patrick Carney, in promoting the album, is turning into a bit of an American Liam - firing off comments at such tough tarfets as Justin Bieber & Michael Jaskson (who they did though beat to No.1 in US)

http://www.nme.com/news/the-black-keys--3/77290

In answer to your raised eyebrow further up, I don't believe Turn Blue lacks 'oomph'.

My only criticism is that when played on my hi-fi, the sound is very bassy and compressed. It sounds great on iPod headphones, mind.

I do know, though, that rock/pop is traditionally meant to be listened to via a transistor radio. I'm guessing an MP3 player is the 21st century equivalent.