The Black Keys
Singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Pat Carney aren’t brothers, but they might as well be. The Akron duo has been together since their teens, and they work together like tuned-in siblings: The Black Keys finished their sixth album in a mere nine days at Muscle Shoals’ famous studio. A visceral rawness radiates throughout Brothers, giving the album an attitude that reaches back to their basics — distorted guitars, pounding beats, blurry vocals. “Howlin’ for You” blasts off with Jock Jams drums and amps cranked to 11. Danger Mouse, who produced 2008’s Attack and Release, returns for “Tighten Up,” where the playful whistling adds just the right amount of whimsy to a driving riff. The slow-mo guitar solo at the end is straight out of a dream sequence. The Keys also cover Jerry Butler’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” with old-soul flavor and stay true to their blues revivalism in “Next Girl.” With grooves this good, you wish the guys were part of your family. —Danielle Sills
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