Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Black Keys Release Turn Blue

The popular rock duo, the Black Keys have introduced their new album, Turn Blue. The pair, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have been pretty consistently successful since they started in the 2000s even after other bands of their generations have faded away. The secret to their survival was making it through the financial crisis. When people stopped buying records and sought a totally different sound, the Black Keys were there with something fresh that still reminded listeners of something older that they may have listened to before. They offer a sort of nostalgia with rock beats, some disco elements, sixty stoner haze, but in a contemporary package and new lyrics. In Turn Blue they take the album as an opportunity to dive into themselves and work through their own issues emotionally and musically. Much of the album has the same flavor as far as feel. It is as if you have been transported to the back room of a disco club where everything exists in a haze of smoke perfumed with marijuana.

What makes it contemporary are the feelings and depth that Auerbach has poured into the lyrics. He has been going through some of his own issues and you hear that in the song “Year in Review” he sings “Why you always wanna love the ones who hurt you/ Then break down when they go and deserve you.” Through much of the album there is a very established atmosphere and motifs that often come back in the strings sections without deviating. In fact, the Black Keys, overall, have not been known for deviation. They usually stick to the status quo and stay with what works. Innovation is not their style. That being said, there are a few moments in Turn Blue where they step outside of their comfort zone and explore something new. These moments are the only redeeming parts of the album and they are worth listening to.

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