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Dirty blues – grimy, nasty, gritty blues – that’s what we’ve come to expect from The Black Keys, the Akron duo of guitarist/vocalist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney. After a series of experiments, including an Auerbach solo album and the Blakroc hip-hop collaboration with rappers such as Mos Def, ODB and Ludacris in 2009, The Black Keys returned with an ever-evolving sound. h="346" />
With incredibly catchy Danger Mouse production, “Tighten Up,” indicates a shift to soul elements. Auerbach howls his way through lines like, “Take my badge, but my heart remains loving you, baby child,” and makes you believe it.
They go so far with the soul flavor that they cover “Never Gonna Give You Up” on the penultimate track. No, they didn’t Rickroll us. This is a Jerry Butler-penned track also recorded by Isaac Hayes on the “Black Moses” album. These tracks alone give Brothers a looser sound than their tight blues-rock records, such as 2008’s Attack & Release.
“She’s Long Gone” may as well be Cream-era Clapton, and “Black Mud” could be Creedance Clearwater Revival.
This blend of classic soul and blues makes the 15-track Brothers a bendy hour of fun. From Auerbach’s faded, hauntingly soulful falsettos to the raw blues riffs, Brothers stays interesting throughout.
Check out "Tighten Up":