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Review

Midwestern band brings ingenuity to rock ‘n’ roll circuit

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November 10, 2010

Within the past several years, The Black Keys have made a name for themselves in the music industry as the go to guys for pure, uncut rock ‘n’ roll. Their albums “Magic Potion” and “Attack & Release” offer some of the best jams out there, and it seems just this fall they’ve added another album that can be placed on that list with the recent release of “Brothers.”

The Black Keys formed in Akron, Ohio in 2001 and began taking the Midwest circuit by storm shortly thereafter. Several years and albums later, they sit amongst the top of the rock ‘n’ roll circuit with no end in sight, producing hit after hit after hit.

The Black Keys’ musical ingenuity and brilliance come to full view from just one listen through the album.

The cover yields nothing more than the phrase “This is an album by The Black Keys. The name of the album is ‘Brothers.'”

This is incredible to me. The band has a simple album cover: no crap, no gaudy pictures, just music. It seems nowadays artists stretch so far in an effort to appeal to the masses and to stick with the popular theme that they build these overly complex songs, album covers and albums just for appeal; they truly lose touch with what they’re in the industry for: the music. The Black Keys seem to have realized this, and it shows in every one of their albums.

In “Brothers,” a wide variety of influences are present, but their rock ‘n’ roll roots are most prominent.

Not only does the album contain epic jams, it also holds quite a bit of meaning lyrically, as well as the much desired catchiness factor. Seemingly the biggest single on the album, “Tighten Up,” brings much to the table and has been dominating the radio airways.

Since it’s a fun and lively track, it’s easy to see why the track has been getting such a positive response in the media and over the airwaves.

Another highlight on the album must be “Too Afraid To Love You,” which mixes the classic vibes of The Black Keys with a sweet background melody produced by what sounds like a harpsichord. This is a combination I hadn’t heard The Black Keys utilize yet.

“I’m Not The One” offers up a tasty bluesy tune with a very healthy bass line and a superior bit of guitar soloing from Daniel Auerbach.

In reading the song title “Never Gonna Give You Up,” one may think of an amazing Barry White song, yet The Black Keys take a rather different approach towards the track; the song itself offers up a very melodic jam capable of entrancing the strongest of minds and most stubborn of listeners to sitting down, listening to the track and giving it a chance.

It’s quite clear to see why The Black Keys are sitting atop the rock ‘n’ roll circuit in the music industry with no foreseeable end in sight. Classic rock, blues and even some hints of country are heard from “Brothers.” All genres are utilized in the best possible ways, making for a solid two-hour listening experience that no music enthusiast should pass up.

Ryen Kleiser is a laid back biology student at UW-River Falls. He is hoping to become a well-known marine biologist and teacher.