The Black Keys - Brothers
I recently discovered The Black Keys on a radio station in Baltimore and for the most part am impressed. Their 2010 release, Brothers, has made a lasting impression that I think has and will continue to sky rocket the band into the ears of the masses. The album is a great representation of American blues rock and one that I definitely think is worth a listen for any fan of the sound of soul/blues/rock/progressive/alternative, etc.
The first thing that struck me about Brothers is the extensive track listing. The album includes 15 tracks that are all at a decent length (most are over 3:30) with only one song at 2 minutes. The album starts off with the track "Everlasting Light" which, through heavy bass distortion and a simple yet thoroughly groovy percussive backdrop, reminds me a lot of the band Spoon. The album progresses in a fluid manner throughout with their two singles placed strategically in the beginning of the album (the second and fourth tracks)
There is a bit of contrast in the vocals of a few songs that is a bit confusing for first time listeners of The Black Keys but in no way lessens the albums aural gravitational pull. Some songs feature high pitched vocals full of soul, reminiscent of Portugal the Man or the aforementioned Spoon, while other tracks go with a deeper vocal sound still dripping with soul goodness. Both of the singles, "Howling for You" and "Next Girl" feature this deeper sound.
The greatest part about this album however, are definitely the tracks that you won't hear on the radio. If you've only heard The Black Keys on the radio, prepare yourself to listen to something you may not be expecting in the form of tasteful ambience/atmospheric sounds mixed in with their signature blues sound. A great album from a band that I think we'll be hearing a lot more of in the near future!
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