Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Black Keys – Attack & Release 8.0/10

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Posted by admin On April - 9 - 2008


When Zack and I saw the Benevento Russo Duo a few weeks ago, we discussed how two people could make so much noise. They really rocked for a duo. The Black Keys new album, produced by Danger Mouse, rocks just as hard for a duo, with a whole lot less noise.

The match seems fated, really. Danger Mouse originally commissioned the Black Keys to compose new songs for an Ike Turner comeback album. When Turner passed away, Danger Mouse decided he still wanted to work with them. Much of what they had written for the Turner album became Attack & Release.

Upon first listen, I was really wowed by the Black Keys stripped down, raw, bluesy rock. I have a couple of their earlier albums, but there weren’t many tracks that I liked as much as I like most of this album. That may be the influence of Danger Mouse, who lately has turned everything he touches to gold. An interview with the band in Rolling Stone talked about how Danger Mouse really pushed them to broaden their soundscape.

The opening track is a slower tune, and really lets the listener in. The album really kicks off with the rocking blues guitar riff that opens “I Got Mine.” By the time the listener gets to “Strange Times” the album is in full blown rock and roll mode. I usually cannot stand an artificial clap track, but Danger Mouse made it work while adding in some Gnarls-esque ‘whooooahs’. “Same Old Thing” provides a good change of pace with flutes provided by drummer Patrick Carney’s uncle, who was a Tom Waits sideman.

This album could not have come at a better time. New albums to listen to in the car with the windows down are a welcome treat come springtime. I look forward to doing some of that tomorrow on my way down to Bloomington for Little 500. I hope it doesn’t rain.

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