Chris Robinson @crmusicwriter

mostly music, sometimes books


How Did I Forget About The Black Keys’ Brothers?

So I was updating my best of 2010 list the other day and I realized that for some reason I did not have the Black Keys’ recent album Brothers listed.  In an effort to partially rectify this egregious omission, here’s a bit about the record…..

One of my most generous friends gave me a nice gift certificate to our favorite local record shop, the Love Garden, and I decided to grab the LP version of Brothers.  Two LPs, a giant poster, and a CD version of the record.  All said, a pretty sweet deal, even though it is a bit spendy – something like 26 bucks, which seems to be the going rate for well put together, more or less deluxe, pop releases.

Brothers turned out to be my record of the summer.  On the 4k mile road trip with my S.O. and dog Julian we played the album about 10 times – or more.  Not because we didn’t have maybe another 100 discs, along with mp3s to plug into the stereo, to choose from, but because it’s soooo good.  And because we spent like something ridiculous like 60 hours in the car over a three week span.  It’s good road trip music.

Like all Black Keys records this one just grows on me with each repeated listen.  It just becomes harder and harder for me to resist its sheer bad-assed-ness.  What makes this album slightly different from earlier efforts from the band is what sounds to be an increased melodic-ness (ugh, what a terrible neologism, but I haven’t had enough coffee yet, so sue me) in the vocals; read: more ballads a la “You’re the One” off of Magic Potion  Along with the

and oh crap, I’m looking at the Black Keys website while writing this and I just learned that for Record Store Day (Black Friday) they’ll be selling a special edition, numbered 45rpm version of the record, with a CD, and a bonus 10″ of live versions of the tracks.  Peep their website here for more info, and visit your local record store instead of getting up at 4am to go to flippin Wal Mart

increased lyricism from front-man Dan Auerbach comes a more subdued, less in your face, approach; “Your Touch” or “Do the Rump” this is not.

This doesn’t mean the record doesn’t rock, it’s just that the group brings the rock in a slower, simmering, slow-grinding fashion.  The single “Tighten Up”

who else thinks it’s one of the coolest videos ever?  Dan’s fake son think’s Patrick’s fake son “smells like ranch dressing”  Awesome

is a prime example of this, as is “Everlasting Light,” which opens the album, lots of falsetto here that’s plenty o’ fun to sing along with.  “Never Gonna Give You Up” has a sweet, 70s classic rock, huge, fuzzy guitar sound, that I’m sure live reverberates through everybody’s internal organs.  Other ballads include “Too Afraid to Love You” and “I’m Not the One” (which includes keyboard).

I have no doubt that all Black Keys fans will dig this record, and it displays a band that continues to mature, grow and refine their sound. 

Now time for the sweetest reviewer cliche ever: “Highly Recommended”

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