The Black Keys | Brothers

Nonesuch (2010)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  June 10, 2010
3.0 3.0 Stars


I’m not a big believer in the idea that bands absorb some ghostly qi in a particular space — if that were the case, Nickelback would be busy rigging up multiple pianos at Abbey Road. I do, however, think it’s apposite that the Black Keys recorded their sixth and best album at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama, a matchbox of sweaty soul history.

Once just another guitar/drums garage-blues duo, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have moved beyond the garage and the blues and are now making quintessentially American music that’s knee-deep in funky R&B, sorrow-drowning and bigger-things-aspiring, not afraid to steal and reimagine.

The primal riffs on “Howlin’ for You” and “She’s Long Gone” are pure John Lee Hooker and/or R.L. Burnside, sure, but the duo’s pursuit of expanding sound — weightless on the Chess-Records-in-glam-boots strut “Everlasting Light,” muggy on the wah-motored “Next Girl,” haunted on “I’m Not the One” — gives the impression that sonic flora and fauna are sprouting up alongside two dudes jamming. Brothers finds the Black Keys digging their own space, one that needn’t be geographically defined.

Related: Old-time bangers, John Heartsman | Music Of My Heart, Smoothed out on the R&B tip, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Dan Auerbach,  More more >
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