The Black Keys: Brothers

cover.jpgYes, yes, yes, we know… this isn’t really a “preview” since Brothers was released a number of months ago in the early part of 2010.  And yes, you are correct, usually we focus our Album Preview streams on upcoming releases in order to give you a sneak preview of the best new work coming down the music pike.
But as 2010 comes to a close, we wanted to cap off the year by saluting one of KCRW’s favorite records which garnered the most votes by KCRW Music Hosts in our Top Ten Albums of 2010.
KCRW DJ Jeremy Sole, a dyed-in-the-wool fan of The Black Keys, chimes in on why this album tops his list.

Swampwater. That's what it said on Dan Auerbach's shirt when he and Pat Carney, better known as The Black Keys, descended upon KCRW recently to perform on Morning Becomes Eclectic. "Swampwater" most likely refers to the southern rock outfit that backed a slew of artists throughout the late sixties -- that, or it might be what Dan and Pat were drinking while recording Brothers, their latest motherlode of heavy, soulful blues and rock. Steeped in vintage tone and raw emotion, this record (their sixth) has reached a balance that was never there -- and never needed -- in their previous efforts. Brothers is both raw and refined, deliberate and spontaneous, in-love and downright pissed off.
Not only does it rock, hard, but it’s the fully exposed and more spacious tunes that get me every time.  Not since songs like, “I Cry Alone” off their Thickfreakness album (2003) have they stripped it down and bared their soul.
The Black Keys’ previous record Attack and Release was the first time the Akron, Ohio duo worked with a producer (Danger Mouse), and the results were heard in the punch of the kick drum, the eerie organ accents, warm basslines and clarity of the vocals -- all without losing the rough edge that makes us die-hard fans love their sound. The Brothers album definitely uses those same tools to build an ever bigger monster of an album, a swamp monster.
From the cover art, an obvious nod to The Howlin’ Wolf Album, to their live stage show, if ever you question whether popularity has changed them, fret not my children.  These are the same boys, jamming like they always did since childhood, breaking rules and carrying on traditions like the bluesmen before them.
-- Jeremy Sole, KCRW Music Host

Brothers will be available to stream on-demand from December 20 through January 2, 2010. 

The Black Keys performed on Morning Becomes Eclectic, check out the full session.
Artist website:
Track listing
1. Everlasting Light
2. Next Girl
3. Tighten Up
4. Howlin' For You
5. She's Long Gone
6. Black Mud
7. The Only One
8. Too Afraid To Love You
9. Ten Cent Pistol
10. Sinister Kid
11. The Go Getter
12. I'm Not The One
13. Unknown Brother
14. Never Gonna Give You Up
15. These Days