TAS Super LP List! Special Merit: InformalTAS Rated 3.5/5 Music, 3.5/5 Sonics in the October 2019 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
Stereophile: Performance 4.5/5 StarsHomage To Electric Guitar On Vinyl LP!
The Black Keys' ninth studio album, "Let's Rock," is released via Easy Eye Sound / Nonesuch Records. The long-awaited album, the band's first in five years, is a return to the straightforward rock of the singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney's early days as a band. Auerbach says, "When we're together we are The Black Keys, that's where that real magic is, and always has been since we were sixteen." The second song from the record, "Eagle Birds," follows the previously released single "Lo/Hi."
"Let's Rock" was written, tracked live, and produced by Auerbach and Carney at Easy Eye Sound studio in Nashville and features backing vocals from Leisa Hans and Ashley Wilcoxson. "The record is like an homage to electric guitar," says Carney. "We took a simple approach and trimmed all the fat like we used to."
Rolling Stone named "Lo/Hi" a "Song You Need to Know" and said, "the Keys have officially returned, louder than ever" and the New York Times calls the song "the kind of garage-boogie stomp that the band never left behind."
Formed in Akron, Ohio in 2001, The Black Keys have released eight studio albums: their debut The Big Come Up (2002), followed by Thickfreakness (2003) and Rubber Factory (2004), along with their releases on Nonesuch Records, Magic Potion (2006), Attack & Release (2008), Brothers (2010), El Camino (2011), and, most recently, Turn Blue (2014). The band has won six Grammy Awards and headlined festivals including Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Governors Ball.
Dan Auerbach formed the Easy Eye Sound record label, named after his Nashville studio, in 2017, with the release of his second solo album, Waiting on a Song. Since its launch, Easy Eye Sound has become home to a wide range of artists including Yola, Shannon & The Clams, Dee White, Shannon Shaw, Sonny Smith, Robert Finley, and The Gibson Brothers; it also has released the posthumous album by Leo Bud Welch as well as previously unreleased material by Link Wray.
Patrick Carney has produced and recorded new music with artists such as Calvin Johnson, Michelle Branch, Damns of the West, Tobias Jesso, Jr., Jessy Wilson, Tennis, Repeat Repeat, Wild Belle, Sad Planets, Turbo Fruits, and more. He also created the theme music for the Netflix TV show BoJack Horseman with his late uncle, Ralph Carney.
"Seeing any great power duo perform live can make you scratch your head and wonder, "How do they get that much sound from two people?" The Black Keys return to that same stripped-down approach on Let's Rock, their first album in five years... On bangers like the bluesy "Shine a Little Light", the sexy-cool slowed-down "Walk Across the Water," and the ever-so-twangy "Get Yourself together," Auerbach and Carney sound like the garage band everyone fantasizes they'll become when they first pick up a guitar... If you like your music straightforward, crunchy, and energetic, it delivers - melodic enough to have a pop underbelly but fuzzy enough to have reverb street cred." - Karen Bells, The Absolute Sound, October 2019
"On "Let's Rock", the band returns to a less refined sound, with a diverse range of styles and timbral diversity within each track. Tchad Blake's bold mixing pulls colors from instruments and voice. Contrast the near-metallic resonance of Carney's drums on "Fire Walk With Me" with the vivid focus on Auerbach's voice in "Every Little Thing", its breathiness highlighting the distorted guitar accompaniment.
"The tooth-rattling, astringent guitar licks of "Shine a Little Light", the opener, introduce not the raging vocal one expects but relaxed lyric phrasing reminiscent of Lennon/McCartney. "Eagle Birds" is awash in heavy metal (the thunderous bass played by Auerbach), while "Lo/Hi" sports an R&B sound, complete with backing vocals. There's something here for every rock'n' roll taste." - Anne E. Johnson, Stereophile, June 2020Features:
• Vinyl LP
1. Shine A Little Light
2. Eagle Birds
4. Walk Across The Water
5. Tell Me Lies
6. Every Little Thing
1. Get Yourself Together
2. Sit Around and Miss You
4. Breaking Down
5. Under The Gun
6. Fire Walk With Me