Because Songs Matter

THE BLACK KEYS – BROTHERS


Okay, I’ll just put it right out on front street. I’m pretty sure Brothers is gonna be my favorite album of 2010. The only competition I expect it to get is from the upcoming Two Cow Garage album, but it’s a tough one to beat. I mean, they even manage to make whistling in a song good in “Tighten Up”. When was the last time a song had decent whistling in it? Last I can think of is “Civil War” by Guns-n-Roses.

So there. It’s Essential Listening and I suspect everyone’s heard the cd and read a bazillion reviews about it by now so I’m not gonna write about that. Instead, I am gonna write about sticking with a band even though you’re not to sure you like where they’re headed. See, I “discovered” The Black Keys when I downloaded The Big Come Up and Thickfreakness, and by the time they released Rubber Factory I was a card carrying member of The Black Key’s fanboy club. A position that was only cemented in place when they came to town on their Rubber Factory tour and absolutely killed it in front of 100 (maybe) people at Skipper’s Smokehouse. Then came Magic Potion. Now, admittedly, it’s not a bad album, and on the rare occasion I hear it and I wonder why I don’t listen to it more than I actually do, but the point is it just doesn’t catch me like those first albums did. When Attack & Release came out it held my attention even less and I figured my run with The Black Keys was coming to an end. They were headed in one direction, and I was missing the huge fuzzed bluesy attack of the past. That said, I still picked up Dan’s solo cd (I listened to it twice) and seeing that a cd was produced by Auerbach is usually all I need to pick up an album by an artist I’ve never heard of.

Imagine my surprise when found myself giddy in musical love with “Tighten Up” and “Next Girl” after they initially leaked to the internet. I didn’t wanna get too excited but it became less and less possible with each listen to “Next Girl”. So, along came release day and there I was at my local music store with the worst album cover of 2010 in my hands waiting to see if the rest of the album could stack up with the lead singles. A question which, at this point, we all know my answer too. It’s like the band finally made the sound they were fishing for with Magic Potion and Attack & Release, and it took them finally spreading their wings a little under solo albums and projects like Blakroc for it to finally be realized. Personally, I am glad I stuck along for the ride. It makes me want to go back, knowing the end result, and listen to Magic Potion and Attack & Release in a different light. If I could only stop listening to Brothers

The Black Keys - Next Girl     
(Live at Interface)
The Black Keys - Tighten Up     
(Live at Interface)
The Black Keys - Howlin' For You     
(Live at Interface)

The Black Keys’ Official Site, The Black Keys on myspace, Buy Brothers

6 Comments

  1. Martin Luther Presley Martin Luther Presley
    July 2, 2010    

    I really dig what you’ve written.
    Their first couple of albums are incredible. When Rubber Factory came out I was so disappointed that they canceled a gig at a great, tiny club for which I already had a ticket and that somehow foolishly and idiotically made me like them less. I somehow began to lose interest. Years later I saw them opening for Pearl Jam and they pulled it off quite well, but made me even sadder that I missed the chance to see them at a living-room-size club. I didn’t like their latest releases, but must admit I’ve never paid them full attention, either. I played Brothers once and dismissed it, but your post is reason enough to doubt my quick judgement. I will definitely listen to it again now.

  2. July 2, 2010    

    I had to listen to the album a few times to really appreciate it I think I was expecting something like Rubber factory. Now I have it in constant rotation. Tighten up is great, can’t wait to see them in July.

  3. Rune Rune
    July 2, 2010    

    Not my cup of … beer… but if you like that, check out Norwegian band BigBang…
    http://www.myspace.com/smallbang

  4. CFO CFO
    July 2, 2010    

    Album of the year…By a mile!

  5. Dave Dave
    July 5, 2010    

    Yeah, A&R really sucked. I thought their run was over. It took a couple listens, but I dig Brothers now. I’m still a bigger fan of the older stuff though.

  6. Buzzman3535 Buzzman3535
    July 6, 2010    

    have to disagree….A&R is a creeper. Listened to it again with the nice headphones on and there is some serious business going on there.

    Not sure what to think about Brothers yet…but lets get real nothing will ever touch Rubber Factory.

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