[ALBUM REVIEW] Black Keys – Turn Blue

turnblue

Patrick Carney & Dan Auerbach have a tricky, but welcoming situation. Downtown blues rock took on an upsurge in mainstream popularity off the back of the Ohian’s previous record El Camini (2011) to hit a career high, after slugging away at the music game for over a decade. We’ve reached the tide of an eight album, and the return to a less awe-inspiring piece, that would always been compared to such a successful album which sadly would be seen as a wrongdoing.

It’s more of an ambient breakdown and an expansion of the sonic pallette that they’ve based their ideology on in the past, with Attack & Release (2008) springing to mind. While it may not be as simple as El Camino, it’s definitely not as raw, probably more of a sequel to Attack & Release because of the high usage of bells & whistles and arranged instrumentation around this LP. Opener ‘Weight Of Love’ can be viewed as progression because of the length of the track and how expensive the song structure is, but when you dive deeper it does not deliver. Sonically they’ve aimed to back a lot of backing sounds into inappropriate places such as track ‘Turn Blue’, where it subtracts the value of the song that we have come to expect better from the duo.

Within the mist of record, ‘Waiting On Words’ is best described as a acoustic ballad, but when frontman Dan Auberbach attempts to give his all vocally, to put it simply; he sounds goofy. They have a back catalogue to carry them through this summer, but Turn Blue is unexciting and middle of the road strings that suck the life out of the LP far too often.

 

Ciaran McDermott

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