Monday, January 9, 2012

The Black Keys - Hell of a Season

Hell Of A Season by The Black Keys Listen on Posterous

(Part one in an 11 part series to spotlight “Feller’s Albums De L’annee.” Unlike all those other bloggers, I refuse to evaluate the year until it’s over. Also, I got kind of lazy in December. Full disclosure, you know? Enjoy...)

One 2011’s biggest releases came toward the end of the year, from a band that has quietly become one of the biggest, most consistently great bands in the country - The Black Keys.

What the blues-rock duo has done over the last decade, without compromising anything, really, is evolve their sound from a somewhat derivative melding of the two music forms into a sound all their own. From their first album, The Big Come Up, the Black Keys have become adept at writing more and better songs every year since, with their sound evolving to balance the blues based attack that made that gritty first effort so addictive.

The new album, El Camino, is the first to feature Danger Mouse behind the boards for every track since Attack and Release in 2008, and it solidifies the partnership as just enough pop has been added to what probably started off as pretty hooky rock songs anyway.

El Camino finds Dan and Patrick finding their groove, literally, on most every song. Even where the lyrical content is a little heavy, as it can be with these blues guys, the up tempo riffage has everything moving.

The consensus among reviewers was that Brothers, the 2009 blockbuster from the Black Keys, was a down record, this rediscovers their rocking side. I don’t quite get that, but whatever. Maybe everyone just wanted a party record. Considering all the influence on here, what with echoes of all sorts of pop songs, in a good way, this should be a party record.

Coming in on the second half of the album, “Hell of a Season,” covers both those sides: lyrically, it’s a bit heart-wrenching, but sonically it kicks your sad ass off that ledge you’re looking out from. Or maybe it’ll pull you back off the ledge. Either way, it’s good. And so is the rest of the album. There’s no great mystery to it: Just good rock and roll.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

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