There has been no shortage of press for the new Black Keys album, Attack and Release, but I wanted to bang out a few words on it anyway. I’ve been a fan of The Black Keys since Thickfreakness dropped and, outside of the 2006’s Magic Potion, I’ve never been disappointed in anything the duo has ever done. Over time, I have even found much love for Magic Potion. Basically, everything Dan Auerbach has worked as a producer on has found it’s way into the ninebullets.net essential listening list. All that said, I really wanted to drop some praise on this album.
Attack and Release started out to be a Black Keys, Danger Mouse, and Ike Turner collaboration. However, when Ike took the deep sleep, the Keys found themselves with a wealth of material and no outlet for it. So, they decided to take the ideas they had been playing with into the studio with Danger Mouse and see what they could come out with. Those sessions resulted in the the most sonically mature album the Keys have ever released.
Attack and Release still has the signature big beats, fat riffs and heavily distorted guitars sound Keys fans are used to, and in the rocking songs you’ll know the album wasn’t (like all the others) recorded in Patrick’s basement. Still, it’s in the album’s more gentle moments that Danger Mouse and a recording studio’s presence are truly felt. I was telling my brother the other day that the new album is just a lot sexier than their previous material. That probably has something to do with the material originally being geared towards Turner. I, for one, hope the Black Keys continue to explore this side of themselves, as it’s made for one of the best albums to date this year, not to mention also having made the ninebullets Essential Listening list.
Now comes the real question…where does it rank amongst their other releases? I’m gonna have to listen to the entire catalog straight through one day before I can say for sure, but for now I can say it’s in the top 3 for sure…possibly the top 2.