After the huge success of their latest album El Camino and all the side projects in-between, indie rock duo The Black Keys return from their three year break with their eighth studio album - Turn Blue. Although El Camino was very successful as far as a commercial standpoint, many fans believed that The Black Keys "sold out" or went too "mainstream" as their music took a turn with more radio oriented simple songs - it was by no means bad, just not what the fans were expecting. With this new record, it seems like Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach heard the fans' criticism and went back to their roots, because Turn Blue is exactly what I loved about albums like Magic Potion and Brothers: just two guys, a guitar & drums, and Dan's sweet bluesy voice. Right off the bat during the first track 'The Weight Of Love' you can tell that this album has a more serious tone to it. It shows that the Keys are maturing and so is the music that they are creating. Another prime example of this is the title track 'Turn Blue', a song that slows things down to a calm bluesy melody that just oozes old Keys. Another reason I enjoyed Turn Blue so much is the fact that the album doesn't sound overproduced with synths or extra sounds (one of my main issues with El Camino). Don't get me wrong, it's not gone for good as tracks like 'Fever' still do use a lot of additional instruments and synths, it is just toned down to a level that won't distract or annoy the listener. The song 'Bullet in The Brain' is a great example of the Keys using other instruments and sounds without having them overpower the tones of the guitar and the banging of the drums, it's all just mixed very well.
So what does this mean for the newest entry in the long line of Black Keys album? It means that we can start expecting great quality music again from the duo. Turn Blue may not be the best Black Keys album as of late, but it's a great entry to their catalogue of songs and a step in the right direction for new ideas to surface. Fans and newcomers should enjoy this awesome slow-paced modern blues album for many months to come, until The Black Keys decide to return again and grace us with more music. Until then, keep it locked to the Sound Cave Blog for up-to-date news and info on everything new and exciting in the world of music!