Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Preview/Review: The Black Keys

An early review, or preview, if you will, of the Black Keys' new album Attack & Release. We gave you all a taste of what was to come when we let you all listen to first single "Strange Times." Not too many readers then, so we weren't quite sure what you all were thinking. I'm going to have to put it out there and say that a lot of long time Keys fans will be a little put-off by this album. It is the first with a flashy producer, the first in a full studio, and the first to add noticeable instrumental flourishes on most tracks (organ, flutes, etc.). But for what it's worth, I still hear the same ass-kicking, balls on fire, guitar and drums band from Akron, Ohio.

Overall, the album has a much more laid back feel. That's not to say the album doesn't have it's fair share of blistering bluesy rock tracks (see "I Got Mine", "Strange Times", and "Remember When (Side B)"), but some of the strongest tracks are the ones that move at their own pace. Of these, two standouts are "So He Won't Break," and "Things Ain't Like They Used To Be." The former sounding like the perfect musical companion to a scene in a gangster movie that involves either blow or strippers, or, ideally, both. The latter pulls itself off as one of the most beautiful tracks the Keys have ever written. Bittersweet, simple, and exemplifying everything the blues are really about: women and broken hearts ("she's got the kind of love I need, the kind that's never good on me").

A super-short, super-preliminary review, but if I had to, I'd highly recommend going out and buying this album on April 1st.

6 comments:

Josh Is Awesome said...

Coming from someone who has never heard of this band. Seeing as how our Spring is finally near, this is definitely a group worth having on your ipod as you walk to class and the leaves finally start coming back. The perfect pick me up to go along with the leaving depression of Winter and the warmth of the Spring to the oncoming Summer.

Anonymous said...

Dear Josh is Awesome,

You truly are awesome.

rachel said...

i LOVE the black keys.
set you free is a good song

Steve-o said...

being kind of a new music hater and a lover of classic smokin guitar and or blues (see; Jimi Hendrix, Clapton , etc.) the keys have given me a refreshing new perspective on the future of music. you can hear those familiar tones of smokin guitar and just raw playing and it is a rare welcome sight. thank you kappy and thank you keys...

Christopher said...

I really dig their studio albums. Ther drummer patented a recording system based on low fidelity that gives them that unique studio sound. Their live shows sound a lot louder obviously and the weaknesses of having only two members are move obvious when they are live, but they still provide an amazingly good time.

Anonymous said...

If you love to straight up rock, wish you were born in a different generation, wish there was a band that sounded like they were from the 60s but they're not so you're cool for listening to a new band but it's double cool because they sound like these dudes could have been chillin with hendrix and page and you find yourself wishing you did hard core drugs when you listen to good music- THEN THE BLACK KEYS ARE RIGHT FOR YOU.