The Black Keys Brothers 2LP & CD
2011 Grammy Award Winner for:
• 'Best Alternative Music Album'
• 'Best Recording Package'
• 'Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical' (Danger Mouse)
• 'Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals' (Tighten Up) - Track: Tighten Up
TAS Rated 4/5 Music, 4/5 Sonics in the December 2010 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
The maturation of the Black Keys as record makers and performers has been
both subtle and startling. With their 2008 Nonesuch release Attack & Release -
the fifth album of their eight-year career - guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer
Patrick Carney illustrated the durability of their few-frills sound, a
mysterious and heavy brew of seventies-vintage rock, classic R&B and timeless,
downhearted blues. Producer and pal Danger Mouse, their first outside
collaborator, didn't try to reinvent their sound but further isolated its
essence with the help of a few carefully chosen guest players and some
retro-modern electronic gear. It didn't need to get slicker to get better, or,
as the Boston Globe put it, "Attack & Release proves that cleaning up the boys
still won't stop them from tracking mud all over the house."
Danger Mouse returned to co-produce "Tighten Up" on Brothers, but for the most
part, the duo was on its own, spending ten days at the legendary Muscle Shoals
studio in Alabama and coming up with the an even more intensely focused, deeply
soulful set that includes a cover of Jerry Butler's "Never Gonna Give You Up."
The performances are inventive and impassioned: Auerbach extends his vocal range
to falsetto on lead-off track "Everlasting Light" and "The Only One"; "Howlin'
For You" opens with a Gary Glitter-style drum riff and the chorus practically
invites singing along. The tunes offer a surprising amount of lyrical candor and
more than a little dark humor; the grooves alternate between ballsy swagger and
bluesy rumination. The album reflects where Auerbach and Carney have been
lately, most recently collaborating with a who's who of New York City MC's,
including RZA, Q Tip, Mos Def and Raekwon on the 2009 BlakRoc super-session
organized by hip-hop impresario and Black Keys fan Damon Dash. They've also
pursued projects on their own, Auerbach with his solo Keep It Hid album and
tour, Carney with his band Drummer and its debut disc, Feels Good Together.
Their maturation didn't happen just in the studio, though. Carney admits, "Dan
and I grew up a lot as individuals and musicians prior to making this album. Our
relationship was tested in many ways but at the end of the day, we're brothers,
and I think these songs reflect that."
Brothers was primarily cut in Muscle Shoals, a setting that turned out to have
more in common with the Akron, Ohio factories where the Black Keys used to
record. The place was desolate, the town depressed, so once again the duo
slipped into a world all its own. They did additional recording at Auerbach's
Easy Eye Sound System in Akron and The Bunker in Brooklyn. The album was mixed
by engineer Tchad Blake, a veteran of sessions with Los Lobos, Pearl Jam and
Peter Gabriel. Says Carney, "The way he approaches mixing is the same way we
approach making music. Respecting the past while being in the present..."
"I listened to the record on vinyl, and I love its vibrant sound; even with reverb piled on it still has plenty of punch. And the songwriting is so solid that several songs on the first three sides of the LP could have been released as singles." - Jeff Wilson, The Absolute Sound, December 2010, Issue 208, pg 160, 4/5 Music, 4/5 Sonics
• Double LP & Bonus CD
• Pressed at Furnace/Pallas
• SIngle pocket Stoughton jacket with expanded spine
• Poster insert
• Bonus CD in babypak
1. Everlasting Light
2. Next Girl
3. Tighten Up
4. Howlin' For You
5. She's Long Gone
6. Black Mud
7. The Only One
8. Too Afraid To Love
1. Ten Cent Pistol
2. Sinister Kid
3. The Go Getter
4. I'm Not the One
5. Unknown Brother
6. Never Gonna Give You Up
7. These Days