You must have both heard and heard of The Black Keys if you keep a keen eye on the music scene. And if you haven't, there is still time. The American rock duo of Dan Auerbach on guitar and vocals and Patrick Carney on drums have gradually risen from their indie days and have transformed themselves into a commendable blues and indie rock group. Winner of six Grammy Awards to date, they released their eighth album 'Turn Blue' on 12 May 2014.
The album begins with the track 'Weight of Love,' the longest at almost 7 whole minutes. It starts slowly in a country tune and is gradually taken over by heavy guitar solos, ending with a fierce one. Dan shows his falsetto skills in 'In Time' and the funky track features another one of his solos and a bass line that should make your head bob. 'Turn Blue' is next and is sung in a sultry voice but what sets it apart from the other ones is its slow chorus.
Things get hot with 'Fever' – the organ, strong beats and riffs – all making it a number that make it a top choice on the dancefloors. Dan makes it very easy to connect with his audience with his lyrics in 'Year In Review'. This song has another one of his relentless solos and also a backing vocal worth swooning over. The group tries a psychedelic and country mix with 'Bullet in the Brain' and the next track, 'It's Up To You Now', is probably the most experimental of all with deafening vocals, parade-like drum beats and sudden changes in tune.
The lyrics in most of the songs are melancholy and hint at Dan's recent divorce with his wife. It shows in 'Waiting On Words' where he sings “Goodbye, I heard you were leaving” and with a clear falsetto, the strumming of his guitars and drumming by Carney that gathered momentum throughout this light track. The next song '10 Lovers' is one for the large arenas and concerts without a doubt. The element of a clapping audience and the organ melody works through and through. 'In Our Prime' is my personal favourite. Dan charms again with his fuzzy voice, painful words and a probable 45th guitar solo of the album. The rise and fall in tempo in this Beatle-esque number is one to watch (read: hear) out for. Finally, the journey through heartbreak ends on a high at 'Gotta Get Away', a lively song that is country rock and one you'd sing-along to when on a road trip.
It's amazing what a two man band can do. The Black Keys' new album is one very different from its previous ones. It reminisces of The Beatles, Pink Floyd and even Arctic Monkeys at some points. They are sure to make many new followers in the upcoming festivals and the tours with their newest work that has taken influences from blues, jazz and country music. If you're in for some diversity, be sure to get this catchy collection in your iPods.