Top 5: Black Keys

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The Black Keys
Street: 05.18

Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have crafted something rare and beautiful with the release of Brothers. It’s interesting and engaging from beginning to end and actually seems to have captured the same raw energy that was so exhilarating on their early albums. That isn’t to say Brothers is simply a rehashing of the bluesy rock n’ roll found on The Big Come Up or Thickfreakness. Instead, it’s as if they’ve captured that grit, but polished it up a bit with what they learned working with Danger Mouse on Attack & Release. Brothers brings us a Black Keys who are as creative as ever, seem to have diversified their influences, perfected their song writing and, as a result, are pumping out some damn fine whiskey-soaked blues and psychedelic-inspired rock n’ roll. “Everlasting Light” opens the album in a style very uncharacteristic of the Keys, most notably because of Auerbach’s falsetto vocals, an atypical choice, but one with pristine execution. “Next Girl” takes things back to the realm of familiarity—it sounds like your typical Keys fair—blues-inspired rock about wayward women. “Howlin’ For You,” one of my initial favorite tracks on the album, has a Gary Glitter-sounding backbeat and insanely catchy lyrics. “Ten Cent Pistol” features vivid lyrics over layers of slowed down garage rock that give the song an eerie feeling. Ultimately, you won’t find any filler on Brothers—this is the kind of album that grows better with each listen. Every song has a purpose and is just as strong as its counterparts. –Jeanette D. Moses