Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Black Keys - Turn Blue (2014)

The Black Keys are as diverse as The Beatles' were beginning with Rubber Soul through the end of their days and that usually resulted in fans of the latter loving everything they released. However, in the case of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney it sometimes means that not everyone will be satisfied with all of their work, the best example being the duo's supremely misguided rap record, Blackroc (2009). Fortunately, their latest, Turn Blue, is one you should place on your "thumbs up" list.

The boys' latest is 1970s arena rock sprinkled with psychedelia and a bit of R&B tossed in on the vocals (Like I said, eclectic). Less gritty than the rockers' early, more blues based discs the pristine production contributes to this being a very different sounding album than those from a decade ago when they began paying regular visits to the Hot 100.

There is the excellent "Weight of Love," the album's opening salvo, that is repeatedly and accurately compared to Pink Floyd. "Fever," a danceable, 80s, new wave track and "Bullet In The Brain," the first single, couldn't be more different from each other. Then there is the R&B drenched power ballad, "Waiting On Words," that also features a very cool guitar riff. Four tracks show off the duo's love of female backing vocals. The disc closes with one of the catchiest songs ever played on radio, "Gotta Get Away," a bouncy and friendly blast of energy filed with hooks that must have many long time fans believing that Auerbach and Carney have sold out.

Danger Mouse was behind the glass again, just as he was on the Keys international blockbuster, El Camino (2011).

In these days of formulaic artists it's great we have a band that loves to experiment and isn't afraid to take chances. The Black Keys usually make their journeys worth the listener's time and Turn Blue is another fine example.

1 comment:

  1. I just came across your blog via a YouTube comment (the labyrinth of the internet is sometimes a wondrous thing). A quick glance around the place and I see that I've got a lot of reading and listening ahead of me - and that's a very good thing. Thanks!