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4.7 out of 5 stars30
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 25 April 2011
I absolutely love this album, it's so organic, it's so cool, raw guitars, clicks and all, just bang on the money blues by two young guys who have created a new following of fans to this style of music. put this in your car stereo during a hot summers day, very loud instead of any electronic dance music (which I beleive is for clubs or headphone listening) wind your windows down and cruise through the town slowly, this music is so cool you won't need your aircon and you will see passers by ears prick up and they start to groove. It's old style music with a new feel and is brilliant. Can't fault any song on this or any of the other Black Keys albums. I managed to see them live last year and they were awesome, sounded just like their albums, live and raw and cool as!
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on 17 July 2003
My days, what an album. Comparisons with the white stripes are somewhat unfair. This band is exceptional. Blues Rock with obvious Hendrix influences, it is great to hear a band come up with quality rock blues in this day and age. The fact they are a two piece band makes them all the more exciting. I bought the album on the back of hearing one song and discovered all 14 are brilliant. The guitaring speaks for itself, quality riffs and rip roaring solos.
It would be wrong to pick out any sungle tunes. The album certainly doesn't have any dissapointments. It starts strong and continues, never dipping
At worst a great introduction to rock blues, at best a testament to wonderful music. The best new album i have bought since Californication (That is no reflection on the style of music tho) Keep it coming boys.
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on 3 January 2003
Not only have The White Stripes put out a succession of brilliant and inventive albums, but they have also inadvertently helped along the way a number of likeminded garage bands to stumble out of their basements, clutching a rickety old guitar in hand and onto the front pages of music magazines. The Soledad Brothers, The Von Bondies, The Datsuns, The Beatings, The Kills (and so on...) are now gaining both exposure and sales at a time when rock music seemed to be getting increasingly more uninspiring. This whole "movement" (and I use that word loosely) couldn't have happened soon enough.
The Black Keys have so far not been included in any "ones to watch" polls for 2003, but this is probably down to a distribution issue with their label than to their talent - because rest assured, this is an awesome little record and anyone enjoying The White Stripes, or the regular offerings from the Fat Possum record label, should definitely make an effort to order this album or hunt it down.
The premise is simple: a basic guitar and drums duo (hmmm, sound familiar?) who shun glossy production values for the kind of earthy, primal noise that makes the whole album sound like it was recorded in a wooden shed. On a four track…probably in the rain! Yes, primitive it may be, but as The Stripes have proved, it can also be extremely thrilling. Adopting this stripped down approach (ie, dropping the bass guitar) can often prove to be a problem, because the “bottom end” is abscent, but Dan and Patrick are both very impressive musicians and as “Busted” launches out of the speakers in all it’s RL-Burnside-lick-nicking glory you don’t even notice. Top marks especially must go to Dan for possessing one almighty gutsy, earthy voice that would a T-Model Ford fan weep with joy – he’s in a class of his own.
Highlights here include the aforementioned “Busted”, the swaggering “Heavy Soul” (complete with an almighty mess of a guitar solo!), the rattling “Do The Rump” and inspired cover of “She Said, She Said”. The whole album really swaggers, stomps and most importantly rocks and rolls – with the killer, and all important, blues vibe pierced right through its heart.
Yes, the rather inevitable Stripes comparisons will no doubt annoy them after a while, but these guys have easily made one fine blues album on their own merits, and it really is one of 2002’s best!
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on 3 September 2003
two guys,a four track and god knows what else.a day later a glorious guitar album that brings back all the blues guitarists youve ever heard of.a piece of pure talent.
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on 16 March 2012
The Big Come Up and Thickfreakness (Black Keys debut and second albums) are two classics of the genre. In my opinion they are far better than the later albums produced by DangerMouse (although I still like Brothers and El Camino, but in a different way)I have just bought Rubber Factory and hoping that that is as good as the Big Come Up.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 2 September 2015
The two guys who make up The Black Keys - the best blues-rock band since Free? - are from Akron, Ohio. This was their debut, and it would have made Son House, Lightnin' Hopkins, Muddy or the Wolf proud. I bet Paul Rodgers recognises a kindred spirit in singer extraordinaire Dan Auerbach too (heard more obviously on their album Magic Potion).
Most of this is gritty, basic down-the-line blues, but to my eternal delight they also do an effectively rudimentary version of the Beatles' slightly obscure She Said, She Said, a favourite of mine by the Fab Four, done to a turn by the fab two.
I love the Black Keys, have five of their albums, listen to them often, and am so happy to now have this tremendous opening salvo by the men from Akron who sing and play dirty blues like it ought to be played, and these days rarely is.

Stunning.
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on 22 October 2005
You won't be disappointed with this CD. It's no gamble to buy it if you haven't heard The Black Keys play - as long as you like rock, or blues, you will love this album. They seem to be on a marathon US tour at the moment but could be in the UK September 2006, so you've got time to get this and realise what you've been missing from your life before you see them live!! You won't regret it, honest.
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on 15 March 2013
This is the first album of the Black Keys. It's raw and unpolished blues rock. It contains a great version of the Beatles song 'She Said she Said'
For me this album is what the Black Keys are all about. The Albums 'Brothers' and 'El Camino' are far more commercial and polished. If you like your Black Keys unpolished, raw, like they are playing in your basement with minimal equipment stick to the first 5 albums. But at the end you want the last 2 albums also. Because you can't go wrong with the Black Keys. The Black Keys rock. Buy this record, it's great.
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on 5 September 2010
OK, first up, this is a truly amazing album. But it's marmite, you love it or hate it.

Second thing, the quality of the recording is terrible. It's nothing to do with my setup here, it's the actual factory output which appears to have been done in a 50 year old magnetic tape. Some may call it dirty and original, and it has a great feel to it, but actually, when you crank the volume up the distortion is so awful you're forced to turn it down again. Which is a crying shame because the tracks are A1.
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on 12 April 2011
This a very decent debut, but it's a touch messy at times and lacks the touch that made Rubber Factory and Thickfreakness so great.

It has it's highlights but they were clealy still learning, the last track is plain terrible. It's worth owning as a Black Keys fan but I don't see having much more value than that if you haven't already got Rubber Factory and Thickfreakness.

I can't work out whether the rawness of this debut makes it better than the polished lack of depth in their more recent work.
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