Five years ago, Dan Auerback and Patrick Carney graced us with their presence for the last time, taking a break from music to recover from injuries and PTSD. The Turn Blue album that was released in 2014 has stayed with me all this time while I thought that Rock & Roll would turn blue and then just drop dead. And that’s all that would be left of the blues-rock genre. We would have a fond memory of the muso duo that is The Black Keys.
But that’s the thing with Rock & Roll, it won’t die.
And just like that, The Black Keys returned with all the riffs you have been craving for over the last five years!
Today marks a good day in blues-rock history, because their ninth album, Let’s Rock was released this morning on all streaming platforms. (Well, almost every platform, what’s going on Apple Music? Why are you torturing me like an electric chair?)
As I pressed play, the straightforward rock punched me in the gut with the opening song Shine a Little Light. This song opens the album with a riff so thrillingly and brutally honest that it’s definitely shone a light on my Friday morning at the office.
The fresh blues song, Eagle Birds is most probably the song that stands out the most for me. The song has a familiar feeling to it, with Dan Auerbach spiralling into a wicked guitar solo. As you listen to the six string, the chorus will punch you right in the gut.
“Don’t nobody wanna be lonely, everybody oughta be loved sometime.”
Am I right? That’s gonna stick for a while.
The song Lo/Hi is dangerous and full of a dirty, distorted guitar riffs and Auerbach’s plain vocals that we came to love so much. All off a sudden the song evolves into a soprano fuzz guitar break.
As if they knew that I was a bit overwhelmed with all the guitar riffs, they gave me the electric soul feeling of Tell Me Lies and Breaking Down.
From soul to something darker as Every Little Thing opens with guitar nerves straight out of a Sixties garage-band. The Black Keys holding their gun. As the chorus started they fire at me with that moral punch in the chorus.
“Every little thing that you do, is always coming back to you.”
After I recovered from the shot that was fired, Get Yourself Together started. This song was full of thrusting, urgent blues-rock that sounds fresh and electrifying.
Go is most probably the song that is the closest to their sound that once made them famous. Catchy harmonies with edgy rock and roll riffs.
Let’s rock is full of guitar distortion, blunt drum beats, and a melody full of tension. It’s shining rock. The music is persuasive and dirty with an incredible edge. It is the result of two musicians just playing on the electric guitar and making a Rock & Roll record to be enjoyed.
Is it the best of The Black Keys?
No most certainly not. But as I played the album for 9Lives writer Tasha, she gave the perfect description:
“Some of the songs are great background music. It’s perfect for enjoying while chilling with friends or making dinner. But there are also songs that I want to headbang to in a smoke-filled club”.
The Black Keys showed us that Rock & Roll lives, it just was in hibernation for a few years.
Feature image courtesy from rocketmortgagefieldhouse.com