Black Keys: Brothers
For Brothers, the Black Keys returned to their roots by heading to Alabama’s legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.
For their sixth album, the Black Keys have returned to the band’s blues-rock roots, said Noel Murray in The A.V. Club. After tripping out with producer Danger Mouse on 2008’s Attack & Release and pairing up with Damon Dash for 2009’s rap-rock project Black Roc, guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney headed to Alabama’s legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. Drenched in soul and oozing swampy blues, Brothers achieves a “visionary hybrid of the archaic and modern that the Black Keys have only tentatively attempted before.” The duo borrows a title from Archie Bell & the Drells for “Tighten Up,” a banger that mashes whistling with cavernous drums, said Stephen Thomas Erlewine in All Music Guide. On a cover of Jerry Butler’s “Never Gonna Give It Up,” Auerbach reins in his signature howl and shows off a falsetto. All through Brothers, “past and present intermingle so thoroughly” that quite often “they blur.”