The Black Keys had big shoes to fill when they dropped their latest album, Turn Blue, on May 12.
The Black Keys had big shoes to fill when they dropped their latest album, Turn Blue, on May 12. Their seventh studio album, El Camino, raked in more than one Grammy in 2011 as did their sixth studio album, Brothers, in 2010. The latter successes solidified the duo’s place on the musical map for a lot of people and Turn Blue doesn’t seem like it will break that stride.
Vocalist/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney definitely took some big risks on the album, and it’s apparent from the start of the first track. At almost seven minutes long, “Weight of Love” is one of the longest track the band has ever put down and the first two minutes is entirely instrumental. Auerbach and Carney collaborated with Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton (who also co-produced Brothers) on the album and the outcome is a ballsier record that still maintains the duo’s iconic sound.
“Fever,” the fourth track on the album and an almost complete juxtaposition to “Weight of Love”, is already dominating the radio waves with its toe-tapping beat and organ riffs. This is unsurprising considering it’s one of the catchiest tracks on Turn Blue and most closely resembles a “Gold on the Ceiling” or “Howlin’ for You.”
In contrast, “Bullet in the Brain” opens with a soft acoustic which transitions into a quicker tempo paired with a chromatic chorus. “Waiting on Words” features an impressive falsetto throughout the track while “It’s Up To You Now” and “Gotta Get Away” have a more buoyant sound with catchy lyrics that are sure to have audiences singing along in the car. “Turn Blue” is the third track and the album’s namesake has a sultry sound that sets the tone for the Keys eighth album as a whole.
The beauty of Turn Blue is that there’s so much variety from the first to last track, however even eight albums later the band has maintained its distinctive sound. Turn Blue took the band’s individuality and amped it up a notch with scores of stand-out solos, riffs and edgy vocals.