The Black Keys

Is there anyone more prolific than The Black Keys? Lets see. Eight studio albums in only twelve years. Well, one Mr. Ryan Adams comes to mind. 14 albums in as many years. But Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney definitely seem to be among the hardest workers in the music business. And their albums, from the debut The Big Come Up (2002) to Turn Blue (2014) aren’t just any old records either. Together, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney (and somewhere there is a record label exec wondering which one of the two is ‘Black’) have set a new gold standard in blues rock. In years to come, people might even want to trace back the resurgence in blues rock today to the example that are The Black Keys.

I don’t know how surprising that is, but there have been more The Black Keys reviews on NeverMindTheBuzzkills than video posts – in part because there were also some about ‘old’ records (of course most music magazines and websites only review the most current records; NMTB never cared about that; a great record is a great record is a great record, even if it is four or five years ‘old’, and it is always worth telling readers about great records), but one particular TBK video stands out in my memory.

The text of that post went a little like this: Music that sounds beautifully raw and dirty needs, well, it needs to be played live. But when it is captured in a (non-live) music video, that video needs to looks as raw and dirty as the music sounds. Enter The Black keys – with their own brand of gritty, dirty blues rock and their new video Little Black Submarines. (…) the video depicts exactly what has been playing in my mind ever since I first heard the sound of The Black Keys: a small venue, pool tables, sweating bodies in the summer heat, a small crowd that still manages to have the small room packed. The only thing that seems to be missing is a close-up shot of a drop of sweat condensating water running down a cleavage bottle of beer. Other than that, it is the perfect visualisation of the Black Keys sound.

And did I mention that The Black Keys can boast both one of the best and one of the worst album covers? The cover art for Brothers is, while not exactly an original idea, simply brilliant. But the one for Turn Blue? What an abomination of an album cover. Of course if you are that damn good – so good that almost every other great band in your genre names you as one of their influences – you can even get away with wrapping one of your albums in such a visual disgrace.


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Releases (studio albums only):

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