The Black Keys - Brothers

After several unsatisfying albums this year from bands I love (Transference, High Violet, The Winter Of Mixed Drinks, Heaven Is Whenever, etc.), The Black Keys’ Brothers is like a breath of fresh air. For their sixth album, the Akron, OH duo has once again delivered a batch of gritty, dirty blues-rock jams that don’t so much show musical growth as a honing of the particular sonic aesthetic that the band absolutely owns. This isn’t to say that Brothers is simply "more of the same", though if you aren’t into the Keys’ straightforward sound by now this record won’t do much to change that. 2008’s Danger Mouse-produced Attack & Release was a career peak, but I think they’ve outdone themselves once again on their latest. What Brothers does so effectively is extend the subtle differences between Attack & Release and their earlier material - there’s more of a soulful feel to many of these songs (as on “Everlasting Light” and “The Only One”), singer Dan Auerbach successfully sings in a falsetto on several songs (including the dazzling “Never Give You Up”, which you’d swear was some old Motown gem), and the grooves are ominously heavy throughout, even on the slower songs. “Howlin’ For You”, with one of the album’s most old school-blues melodic structures, even sports a pure Gary Glitter thump. But scattered throughout are some of the band’s most arresting scuzzy blues-rock songs - “Tighten Up” (the only Danger Mouse-aided track), “Next Girl”, and the Old Testament heavy “She’s Long Gone”. Sure, reinventing your sound and approach is a tremendous accomplishment when bands successfully pull it off. On this instantly familiar album, The Black Keys prove that knowing what you do well and delivering can be just as exciting.

Stream :: Next Girl
Stream :: Tighten Up
(from Brothers. Buy here)
There have been a few very funny videos so far from this album - here’s another, though Frank the dinosaur doesn’t make an appearance:

The Black Keys "Tighten Up"

The Black Keys MySpace Music Videos


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