Search - The Black Keys :: Brothers

The Black Keys
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1

The maturation of the Black Keys as record makers and performers has been both subtle and startling. With their 2008 Nonesuch release 'Attack & Release' - the fifth album of their eight-year career which doubled the sales ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: The Black Keys
Title: Brothers
Members Wishing: 28
Total Copies: 0
Label: Nonesuch
Original Release Date: 1/1/2010
Re-Release Date: 5/18/2010
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Style: Indie & Lo-Fi
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Other Editions: Brothers (Deluxe Edition)(w/Book), Brothers
UPC: 075597981438


Product Description
The maturation of the Black Keys as record makers and performers has been both subtle and startling. With their 2008 Nonesuch release 'Attack & Release' - the fifth album of their eight-year career which doubled the sales of their previous album and Nonesuch debut 'Magic Potion' - guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney illustrated the durability of their few-frills sound, a mysterious and heavy brew of seventies-vintage rock, classic R&B and timeless, downhearted blues. Producer and pal Danger Mouse, their first outside collaborator, didn't try to reinvent their sound but further isolated its essence with the help of a few carefully chosen guest players and some retro-modern electronic gear. It didn't need to get slicker to get better, or, as the Boston Globe put it, ''Attack & Release' proves that cleaning up the boys still won't stop them from tracking mud all over the house.'

Danger Mouse returned to co-produce 'Tighten Up' on 'Brothers,' but for the most part, the duo was on its own, spending ten days at the legendary Muscle Shoals studio in Alabama and coming up with the an even more intensely focused, deeply soulful set that includes a cover of Jerry Butler's 'Never Gonna Give You Up.' The performances are inventive and impassioned: Auerbach extends his vocal range to falsetto on the lead-off track 'Everlasting Light' and 'The Only One'; 'Howlin' For You' opens with a Gary Glitter-style drum riff and the chorus practically invites singing along. The tunes offer a surprising amount of lyrical candor and more than a little dark humor; the grooves alternate between ballsy swagger and bluesy rumination. The album reflects where Auerbach and Carney have been lately, most recently collaborating with a who's who of New York City MC's, including RZA, Q Tip, Mos Def and Raekwon on the 2009 BlakRoc super-session organized by hip-hop impresario and Black Keys fan Damon Dash. They've also pursued projects on their own, Auerbach with his solo 'Keep It Hid' album and tour, Carney with his band Drummer and its debut disc, 'Feels Good Together.' Their maturation didn't happen just in the studio, though. Carney admits, 'Dan and I grew up a lot as individuals and musicians prior to making this album. Our relationship was tested in many ways but at the end of the day, we're brothers, and I think these songs reflect that.'

'Brothers' was primarily cut in Muscle Shoals, a setting that turned out to have more in common with the Akron, Ohio factories where the Black Keys used to record. The place was desolate, the town depressed, so once again the duo slipped into a world all its own. They did additional recording at Auerbach's Easy Eye Sound System in Akron and The Bunker in Brooklyn. The album was mixed by engineer Tchad Blake, a veteran of sessions with Los Lobos, Pearl Jam and Peter Gabriel. Says Carney, 'The way he approaches mixing is the same way we approach making music. Respecting the past while being in the present.'

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CD Reviews

Hits the right keys...
Nse Ette | Lagos, Nigeria | 05/18/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I got into the music of Blues Rock duo The Black Keys via their Danger Mouse-produced album "Attack & release". I also loved their Hip Hop collaborative venture Blakroc.

This time around, Danger Mouse produced just one track, the groovy organ-sprinkled tempo-shifting "Tighten up". Everything else was produced by the pair.

I love the sonic diversity among the songs, from the fuzzy falsetto-sung "Everlasting light", the funky Blues "Next girl" (very White Stripes), the psychedelic pair of "She's long gone" and falsetto-sung "The only one", the quivering guitar instrumental "Black mud", the absolutely beautiful harpsichord ballad "Too afraid to love you", the simmering ballad "I'm not the one", and the Sixties Soul-channeling pair of "Unknown brother" and "Never give you up" (the latter a Jerry Butler cover).

What an absolutely fabulous album this is. To those that think there is hardly any good music being made these days, you just need to switch off from top 40 radio and TV and discover gems like this."
WARNING: This Album Contains Several Black Keys Ballads!!
M. C. Tolen | Tulsa, OK | 05/19/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Consistant with the marketing theme of this album, I wish the Black Keys would have put that warning on the cover as well. Sorry, but honestly I love the Black Keys for one thing: dirty riff based hard rockin' blues!! I know that seems selfish and closed minded, but truthfully on earlier albums I'd listen to their occasional ballads a couple times but they would soon be quickly skipped to get to the good stuff. I've got nothing against ballads or bands expanding and evolving, but for some reason when the Black Keys would try it on previous albums, it just didn't click with me. That said, however, this may be the first Black Keys album that actually may give me pause and make me listen to their mellow side. The "WARNING" of course is directed at the many fans like myself because when I first put on this album on my way to work and heard the first several songs I thought "YES! The Black Keys are back doing what they do best...full on ROCK!" I couldn't wait to hear the rest of it! Little did I know that the rest of it would be part mid-tempo hip-hop style tunes followed by even mellower bluesy soul ballads. With each passing song I kept hoping the next one would rock but I couldn't help but be disappointed when they didn't. Had I been "warned" I may have been more open to giving the rest of the album its due. Now, after a couple subsequent listens, I can say that the latter half does have a lot of good songs worth digging into, even for fans like myself. The midtempo stuff is very cool. It makes me curious to check out their BlacRoc side project. As for the mellow tunes that close out the album, they aren't soft rock songs like bad Peter Cetera ballads or the band Bread. They're still very much Black Keys songs-soulful, but gritty with a rough edge. I may still long for the Black Keys circa "Rubber Fatory," I still think its by far what they do best. However, fans of the early stuff will get a dose of that with this album and it may be the first to prove to everyone that there is more to dig about the Black Keys."
Like It? Depends On Where You Started
CD Junkie | Dayton, MN United States | 05/20/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Embarrassingly, my review is the same as a lot of others: If you came to The Black Keys through their 1st three albums, you'll be underwhelmed by this. If you came in through Attack & Release, you'll probably really like it. I came in through the early stuff. Some of the tracks (Next Girl, Sinister Kid, Black Mud) would be GREAT change of pace cuts on something like The Big Come Up, but (in my humble opinion) they just don't stand out on this set. I guess my feeling is that The Black Keys just don't have strong enough lyrics to be this mellow; they have to provide raw emotional power to be truly successful. I applaud their attempts to branch out and experiment, but I like their full tilt music much better."