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CD Review
The The Black Keys - Brothers

The Black Keys

Brothers
Record Label: Nonesuch Records
Artist's Facebook
Review by Troy Johnson
June 2010

If you are not familiar with the discography of the Black Keys then their new album ‘Brothers’ is a fine place to start. Released on Warner Brothers’ Nonesuch records, the bulk of the album was recorded in the Muscle Shoals sound studio in Alabama where other legends such as The Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson, and Bob Dylan have recorded. ‘Brothers’ has 15 tracks with a spooky fuzz reminiscent of darker Led Zeppelin tunes but all the while keeping their blues sound. The band’s previous studio album, ‘Attack and Release’ was produced entirely by Danger Mouse who also produced the track ‘Tighten Up’ off the latest album. Danger Mouse is the producer that created the Grey Album which was the first of many Jay-Z acappella DJ productions. When you listen to ‘Tighten Up’ you can tell that it is the work of Danger Mouse and stands out as a great song on the album.  The lead guitar and vocalist of the Black Keys duo Dan Auerbach released a solo album ‘Keep It Hid’ in 2009 with bluesy riffs that have become his truly unique style . The drummer, main producer, and second part to the group Patrick Carney have a respect and knowledge for old music in a 2010 setting that gives the Black Keys a style that is not reproduced. 

The ‘Black Keys’ first two albums, ‘The Big Come Up’ and ‘Thickfreakness’ were both recorded and produced in Carney’s basement in Akron, Ohio. Don’t worry about catching up on old albums though because ‘Brothers’ will bring you up to speed on the style and soul of the rock duo. Carney has also been working on some solo projects but when he and Auerbach get together they create dark sounds with crowd pumping percussion that are not found anywhere else.

The song ‘Howlin’ For You’ is probably the catchiest single on the album and if you must download one song for a sample this would be the one. A copy of the CD comes with a vinyl purchase as the Black Keys lp’s usually do. The Black Keys are also active on their website with updates on tour status, dates, and new projects.

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