The Black Keys: "Let's Rock" (Easy Eye Sound/Nonesuch) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The Black Keys

“Let’s Rock”

Easy Eye Sound/Nonesuch

Jul 09, 2019 The Black Keys Bookmark and Share

The Black Keys have been at the top of the blues rock heap since their debut in 2002, laying down a string of hits and eight studio albums along the way, and a collective body of work that has set the expectation bar high. So it’s a bit disappointing that their ninth album, “Let’s Rock”, is nothing special for such a special band.

While the dynamic duo of guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney certainly have nothing to prove, this homage to electric guitars (no keyboards were used in the making of this record) is a mixed bag of bland rock and the timeless rock textures we all like, and have heard before, spun in the unique bluesy style The Black Keys are known for.

Only a handful of the 12 tracks capture the energy of past hits or the electricity depicted in the unusual album cover. Opener “Shine a Little Light,” along with “Eagle Birds” and first single “Lo/Hi” are rich in bouncy rhythms with crisp bass lines and tight guitar riffs, and show off both the band’s strong songwriting skills and instrumental prowess. “Tell Me Lies” and “Get Yourself Together” are standard Black Keys fare with uptempo grooves accompanied by expressive guitar hooks and pleasant melodies.

Unfortunately this musical splendor can’t be sustained through all 12 tracks as the tempos slow and the rocky edges are smoothed over. The melodies try to be charming, but these lesser tunes come off sounding more like a collection of bad Beatles songs, if there is such a thing.

While there is nothing unpalatable on “Let’s Rock”, the majority of the tracks are missing that intangible ingredient from the music with only a few songs being a flawless merging of instrumental dexterity and fashionable spirit that allow these artists to explore their blues side while indulging their rock tendencies. Thankfully The Black Keys just rock better than most, else a lower rating would be warranted. (

Author rating: 5/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10


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August 11th 2019