The Black Keys
Nonesuch Records 
Fire Note Says: Best album The Black Keys have released in years!
On their last several releases The Black Keys seemed to distance themselves from their grinding blues garage rock in favor of a more refined sound that found them experimenting with different instruments and working with DJ/producer Danger Mouse. It wasn't until Dan Auerbach's excellent solo record last year did we start to see the Black Keys we know and love. Well many fans will be flocking to their sixth album Brothers because it is somewhat a return to their early form with the only difference being maturity. Their sound is still more polished here and may not be as in your ear with volume but their true soul pours out right from the beginning foot stomping beats of "Everlasting Lights" and just keeps on rolling. The thick guitar strum in "Next Girl" is infectious, while first single "Tighten Up" scorches out the blues rock with Auerbach's recognizable howl in full effect. By the time you hit the bluesed up instrumental "Black Mud", you are already sold on the goods The Black Keys are offering. Song after song, The Black Keys hit you with a cool swagger that keeps your interest and makes you excited for what is next. What makes Brothers such a home run is that The Black Keys still utilize their recent musical education but now apply it to a sound that is a better fit. The refreshed vibe comes off during slow grinders like "Too Afraid To Love You" and even more so on the cover of Jerry Butler's "Never Gonna Give You Up" that is superb. This maturity translates into a record that sets its own pace, invites you to get on board, and lets you get off anytime you want through its dazzling hour of blues sophistication. This is what The Black Keys are all about!
Key Tracks: "Tighten Up", "Next Girl", "Unknown Brother"
Bands With Similar Fire:
The Pack A.D.
Drummer: Feel Good Together [Fire Note Review: 10/2/09]
Dan Auerbach: Keep It Hid [Fire Note Review 2/9/09]
The Black Keys: Attack & Release [Fire Note Review 4/15/08]
The Black Keys: Magic Potion [Fire Note Review 10/5/06]
Official Black Keys Website
The Black Keys MySpace
The Black Keys Facebook
-Reviewed by Christopher Anthony