It’s hard to name another band that have struck the same balance between leftfield cool and mainstream success as The Black Keys. With 2010’s ‘Brothers’ and 2011’s ‘El Camino’ it wasn’t just the garage-rock faithfuls picking up their albums, through persistent airplay and word of mouth, even your mum could confess to tapping a toe to ‘Lonely Boy’ and ‘Howlin’ For You’.
Turn Blue is mellower than its forebears, with winding melodies and a blunt edge of psychedelia rounding off their typical style of ramshackle rock and roll. Of course there is still plenty of Dan Auerbach’s trademark fuzz and squall, with tracks like ‘Bullet In The Brain’ and ‘In Our Prime’ demonstrating that this Ohio duo aren’t done reinventing a classic sound eight albums on.
It is a leaner, braver offering than The Black Keys more recent releases, and it’s to the records benefit. From the soulful sway of ‘10 Lovers’, to the icky thump of ‘It’s Up To You Now’ and the acid burn of ‘In Time’, Turn Blue is to be loved as much for its ingenuity as its reassuring familiarity.
Check out title track ‘Turn Blue’ right here: