The Phoenix Network:
About  |  Advertise
Big Hurt  |  CD Reviews  |  Classical  |  Jazz  |  Live Reviews  |  Music Features

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 >
| More

 Friends' Activity   Popular   Most Viewed 
[ 12/25 ]   Andy Goldsworthy: "Snow"  @ DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
[ 12/25 ]   Juan Jose Barboza-Gubo: "Cruor - Proelium - Cervus"  @ Fourth Wall Project
[ 12/25 ]   “Double Solitaire: The Surreal Worlds Of Kay Sage And Yves Tanguy”  @ Davis Museum at Wellesley College
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   SMASHING PUMPKINS | GISH/SIAMESE DREAM  |  November 29, 2011
    Billy Corgan's zeitgeist whine, so omnipresent via high-charting Siamese Dream tracks "Today" and "Disarm," was the true sound of the alterna-'90s.
  •   THE WHO | QUADROPHENIA: THE DIRECTOR'S CUT  |  November 22, 2011
    Pete Townshend's working demos for the Who have long been sought in bootleg circles, often for the simple reason that the songwriter's vulnerable vocals offer relief from the barbaric yawp of lead singer Roger Daltrey.
  •   R.E.M. | PART LIES, PART HEART, PART TRUTH, PART GARBAGE: 1982-2011  |  November 16, 2011
    Now R.E.M. have died two deaths: first, when drummer and founding member Bill Berry split for the comforts of country life in 1997, and then nail-in-the-coffin style, when the Athens, Georgia, band announced its official break-up two months ago.
  •   KURT VILE | SO OUTTA REACH  |  November 09, 2011
    This six-song, 30-minute companion EP serves as a victory lap for long-haired Philadelphian Kurt Vile, whose vacillating and absorbing Smoke Ring for My Halo is certainly one of the year's best albums.
    Before finding infamy as a perm-'fro courtroom crazy, the guy who held the Ramones at gunpoint, or the dude who dared helm murky post-Beatles waters, Phil Spector was synonymous with '60s-pop Wall of Sound production.

 See all articles by: ZETH LUNDY

RSS Feed of for the most popular articles
 Most Viewed   Most Emailed