.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/2aa16d5382320d7eb0297f58f73eefb506318270.jpg Brothers

The Black Keys

Brothers

Nonesuch Records
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 4 0
May 17, 2010

The Black Keys — singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney on drums — are a two-man combo with a big-band mind. On Brothers, their first studio album after a year of offshoot affairs (Auerbach's solo album, Keep It Hid; Carney's side group, Drummer; a hip-hop project, BlakRoc), the Keys make a thick, dirty racket, overdubbed but never overstuffed. "Everlasting Light" has hive-of-bees distortion, corn-pone harmonies and an Auerbach falsetto that suggests Prince singing through a mummy's gauze. In "Ten Cent Pistol," the pair pile on the menace — a garage quintet's worth of guitars, organ and heavy death march — while leaving enough cold air in a mix that feels like a graveyard recital. Auerbach and Carney did as much on 2008's Attack & Release, produced by Danger Mouse. But Brothers, recorded largely in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, with little outside help, has a higher ratio of compelling songs and distress. "The Only One" is slow, earthy sorrow, too roughly handled for pop radio here but a surefire hit on some distant blues planet. And I would have ended the album (which runs a little too long) with "I'm Not the One." With its rusted electric piano, aching bridge and Auerbach's ravaged vocal, it is a deep-fried wrong-love song destined for a payday cover in the straight world.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Bird on a Wire”

    Leonard Cohen | 1969

    While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com