The Black Keys

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The Black Keys

Attack and Release

Nonesuch
3.5 out of 5 stars
Release Date: April 1, 2008

Nearly two years after the release of Rubber Factory, The Black Keys return with their long awaited fifth album, Attack and Release. Incorporating the first-time use of a producer, Danger Mouse, this album is a definite departure from their raw blues-driven releases of the past. For those who are expecting an album similar to their first four, you just aren’t going to get it. Instead what you will get is a 1970s R&B/Funk-sounding album that incorporates a lot of overdubs: background vocals, keyboards, multiple guitar parts, bass, ambient sound effects and even electronic groove-orientated beats. Attack and Release actually sounds exactly like what you would expect from a Danger Mouse/Black Keys collaboration, only you find yourself longing for some of the rawness that defined the band on its earlier releases. You are also left wondering, “How the hell are they going to recreate this with their live show?” Fans new to The Black Keys are probably going to love this album. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great tracks on this album. Notable standouts include “So He Won’t Break,” “I Got Mine,” “Oceans and Streams,” and “Things Ain’t Like They Used To Be,” but overall the album seems like The Black Keys’ big attempt at reaching the mainstream. Perhaps they finally will.

- Jonathan Keller

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