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The Black Keys: Brothers

by on September 13, 2010

9.5/10

This is an album that will divide many and unite even more. Folks, this album is the epitome of the blues with that modern twist; hitting all the right spots and more importantly not hitting the wrong spots. This album is one for the books, mark my words; Brothers, The Black Keys.

The Black Keys are a two man duo, consisting of Dan Auerbach (Vocals/ Guitar) and Patrick Carney (Drums); Brothers is an appropriate name for Carney and Auerbach who are known for their tight-nit relationship, very much brother-like; check out “Unknown Brother” on the album. On their eigth studio album since releasing The Big Come Up, the Keys have experienced just that, a very long, harsh, “come up”; but, inevitably, the Keys became a major player in the music industry, with every one of their albums a hit, such as: Magic Potion, Rubber Factory, and most recently, Brothers.

I do hope the name The Black Keys rings a bell, maybe you’ve overheard the name thrown around, perhaps you don’t know the name but have heard the songs, that crisp sounds with an irresistible beat that hits the deep crevasses of your body, that’s the magic of The Black Keys and their love of the blues. I have personally seen The Black Keys in concert at Lollapalooza, I won’t go into too much detail about the event but, suffice it to say, it was one of the greatest experiences of my life, they’re one of those bands who can do it on and off the stage.

So how is Brothers, is it worth the time? The answer is quite the ambivalent one, for myself, a profound lover of music, comprising of its history, culture, influence, and composition, Brothers really speaks volumes for the progress music has made. However, for someone who does not have the patience to chug through an album, who just likes the sound of a pop song (not neccesarily something wrong with that), or the riffing of an “indie” song, this album may not be for you.

The Keys main focus has always been, and will always remain on, the Blues; Brothers truly is important because it is a sign, a sign showing that the musical influences of our past can really be applied to today’s culture and be welcomed with open arms. The Blues originated in the southern points of the U.S., primarily, if not completely, created by the African-American culture. Of course, this beautiful and soulful culture spread and ipso facto we have had bands such as Led Zeppelin and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, artists such as B.B. King and Ella Fitzgerald, and current bands such as The Black Keys and The White Stripes.

Every week Rolling Stone prints the “College Radio Top Ten Albums”, and each week  since summer, July 24th to be exact, RS has ranked Brothers #1-#9 on the chart. That says something, because college kids have a short attention span, especially “hip” college kids with their weed and edginess.

Brothers is a step in an alternative direction for the Keys, pandering to different crowd of followers. The Black Keys have remained a somewhat underground band most of their career, i.e. go out and ask 10 people if they know a few Keys songs, but now they have incorporated a bit of a popier tune, and boy does this method work well!

Gems include: “I’m Not the One”, “Tighten Up”, “Everlasting Light” and much much more!

“Everlasting Light”

“Tighten Up”

*Side note: Has anyone noticed how many times “one” has been included in the Keys’ song titles? I’m at like 4 times

Sonic

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