Brothers review by The Black Keys

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  • Released: May 18, 2010
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.2 (53 votes)
The Black Keys: Brothers

Sound — 9
When a musician emits the blues for the first time, it stays with them forever. The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are a great example. The duo known for howling about love and horrid affairs have defined blues-rock over the past few years with releases such as Magic Potion and Attack & Release, but none have been as soulful as their sixth studio record Brothers. Though there's an abundance of heavy alternative rock magic that's defined them and their other projects (look at probable singles like "Next Girl"), Auerbach and Carney venture out into the different personalities of blues. The instrumental "Black Mud" takes a page out of classic rock and sets it afire with a signature riff and pleading guitar parts while "The Only One" showcases Motown soul built with a modern backbone. Such experimentation seems unusual for the group, but the fact of the matter is, it's fresh, inviting and melodic enough to make the collection of tracks timeless.

Lyrics — 9
The rustic wail of Auerbach's is a notorious one and on Brothers, it doesn't disappoint despite influences being put on display across the board. For the longtime Black Keys fan, there's songs like "She's Long Gone" that are reminiscent of his simple yet bold testaments that make ladies swoon and knees buckle. But for the new-age follower, there's also a mix of tracks that share similarities with the singer/guitarist's solo release from last year. Although it seems like a bad thing, it's not, as fans have come to known Auerbach for so long that the delicate and honest tone his voice takes at some points is satisfying. With blues being a crippling subject, the band's songwriting seems polished and more creative, but that could just be due to arrangements like "Never Give You Up" that feature the singer hitting notes we're not use to hearing.

Overall Impression — 9
It's about time The Black Keys issued a new record, especially with numerous side-projects that prove the group still haven't lost their touch. However, it wouldn't be surprising if people expected more from Brothers. Instead of unleashing a wrath of blues-rock fury upon the ears of many, the group explore the roots of blues and come out with a few honest and heartful numbers meant more for that slow dance or night on the roof with a loved one. Just don't think the brain-teasing rock riffs have departed. One thorough listen to Brothers will reassure the band's creativity has indeed not died and is bound to live another day in heartache.

24 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Damn awesome. Love it. On my first listen through, I wasn't paying much attention and it didn't catch my ear, but actually listening to the music, it's beautiful. The first two tracks, Everlasting Light and Next Girl are a little too alike for my liking, but so far I haven't found any tracks that I dislike. Adore Sinister Kid, and I personally don't think Tighten Up (though I loved it when it was released before the album) really stands out on the record. Ace stuff, my favourite album of theirs so far - although that may change with time.
    It's a bit wierd. It... doesn't sound much like them. Doesn't have that signature heavy blues sound.
    They are pretty well known in the UK, a lot of my friends know of them, I think all of them who do like them as well.
    holy shit, this record is great ... it's different ... but still great... yeah, it's missing some hardcore black keys riffs ... but thats their choice. this record it great ... totally amazing. like the vintage sound a lot.
    The Black Keys DON'T GET THE RESPECT AND CRED THEY DESERVE! Thanks for another priceless piece. ps. Dan GET SOME SLEEP. \m/ rock on.
    Black Keys are so underrated and Dan Auerbach is too as a lyricist/musician. He is an amazing songwriter, one of the best in this generation. Download 'Thickfreakness' it's their best!
    I actually hated this album the first few times i listened to it. then i started to hear the intracacies and it was amazing. They have evolved. But i saw these guys like three weeks ago at Wanee fest and they were absolutley amazing. So they rock
    Black Keys are pretty cool, but that is the worst album cover I've ever seen.
    Tighten Up and She's Long Gone are great, but as a complete record its not one of their best. Its more laid back than any of their previous albums, Brothers had the feel of Dan's solo record rather than the more aggressive Black Keys style. Brother is good but not great.
    i listened to the whole thing on npr. sounds great. not as heavy on the guitar riffs as attack & release or rubber factory but more of a nice dirty r&b feel
    Rick_Diculous wrote: TBK are the most underrated band out there. It's a shame more people aren't into them because they produce phenomenal records.
    TBK are the most underrated band out there. It's a shame more people aren't into them because they produce phenomenal records.
    lovin the new album, great stuff gettin used to new experimenting
    These guys have a knack for writing great songs. Can't wait to hear this.
    Meh, other than Tighten Up, i found the album to be rather boring and a huge let down, especially after their amazing album with Dangermouse