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4.5 out of 5 stars
Brothers
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 27 April 2011
Well this is probably be the most amateur review however when requested to write one i couldnt resist.

This album is my absolute favourite find of the year so far without a shadow of a doubt.

Its varied from song to song, the only true similarity through the album is the quality of the songs...superb!

Everlasting light starts us off in quite a subtle tone, none the less enjoyable and with some delightful vocals, "Let me be your everlasting light" comes out of me regularly in a replica fashion more than a few times a week.

Howling for you is a real high point for me, its leans towards a glam rock style heavey beat, soo catchy, so loud, fast paced (always played at high volume for me) and absolutely wonderful, i defy anyone who doesnt like this record.

I also cant waffle on enough about Ten Cent Pistol, brings to mind cowboy gansters and attractive girls, very cool, beautiful guitar and belongs on a film soundtrack, i could see it fit nicely into a Tarantino, it would definately be in mine, if i were ever to make one...hummm.

Never gonna give you up, beautiful soul style lyrics, grainy yet silky smooth vocals, pure pleasure for the ears telling of true devotion, perfect!

Ending with These Days, so mellow so chilled, for some reason always make me think of the brilliant Albatross by Fleetwood Mac, the most appropriate song for lying in a field in the sun...amongst other enjoyable things!!

In summary a great album, money couldnt be spent more wisely, i advise to make the purchase!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 25 December 2011
The album itself is fantastic, on vinyl it's even better. I love this album and the price for it was reasonable, it came relatively quick and undamaged as it should have. If you're a fan of this album, buy the vinyl and if you don't own a vinyl player then get one. You won't regret it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2012
I'm late to the Black Keys, and this is the only album of theirs I yet own. I'm in the process of remedying that.
I know from reading other reviews that many regard it as being over-produced, and prefer the older material.
I'll be in a position to judge that soon.
But for now: Brothers.
I can give this album no higher recommendation than to say that it is the first album in perhaps a decade that I have listened to over and over again, in the way (pre children) I once did.
It reminds me of the sound you might achieve if you could blend Neil Young, Spiritualized, Billy Bragg and Al Green.
Where once I'd no doubt have been rocking out at the front of trheir gigs, in my mid-40s I simply find this great, late night music for being alone with a glass of wine, low lights and my thoughts. (Or my wife, who likes the album nearly as much as I do.)
Very, very good indeed.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
An early contender for album of the year, and for me this is easily the best album
The Keys have made. I have always liked the Keys, some of their songs are fantastic
3 minute riffed-out stompers, but albumwhise they have never been on heavy rotation.
This however, is pure class and gonna stick for a looong time.
The R&B and soul influences are more significant on Brothers than on anything they
have done before, and I see some Black Keys fans think this is too soft compared to
their older stuff (The most entertaining remark being; " there is NO excuse for
falsetto, this is not The Bee Gees"!! HA HA HA!), but I just don't get the criticism.
It's not like they have gone in a completely new direction. "You're the one" from
"Magic Potion" is very similar to the more mellow stuff on "Brothers"
This is a GREAT album and there is no mistaking it for anything else than the Black
Keys. Their sound just got refined, reshuffled and reimagined. Same, but different!

And by the way, falsetto works like a mother!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 16 May 2010
The duo's last album "Attack and Release" in 2008 helped Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney make the jump from cult status to mainstream. Opinion was sharply divided on the benefits of Danger Mouse's production, and from the general reaction it seems the band may have lost as many diehard fans as it gained new ones.

Perhaps in response to the outcry, Brian Burton's involvement this time round is limited to just the one track, "Tighten Up", with the rest of the album produced by the Keys themselves. But his influence appears to have lingered, with the band's original raw, rough and underproduced sound seemingly consigned to history.

Recorded at the legendary Muscle Shoals studios, you can almost feel the ghosts of those long-gone southern soul greats stalking the sessions. It's a bluesy, swampy, funky and soulful affair that's immediately recognisable as The Black Keys but at the same time suggests a band not content to tread water or simply rest on its laurels. Highlights include "Ten Cent Pistol", the catchy "Next Girl", "Sinister Kid" and "I'm Not the One".

Tasty stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2012
The Black Keys have added white keys and now sound a complete band. Having been a fan of Magic Potion and Attack and Release for the simple beauty of the riffs, the catchiness of the songs and the invention displayed by this two piece, I like Brothers for its deliberately less White-Stripes approach. Now they sound like a band, not some odd 3 wheeled vehicle, and they are all the better for it. A few detractors may criticize the more adult production, but I see it as inevitable progress. I think Dan is one of the best riff writers ever, and the whole thing smacks of greater professionalism in a positive way. Still simple, bluesy, energetic and committed, this is one great record.
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on 18 April 2011
Brothers sees Black Keys evolve and are aided superbly again by the exceptional Danger Mouse, Brothers sees The Black Keys toddle away from their mother blues into slightly different territory. The music is thinker with the use of more instrumentation and more layered sound.

Stand-out tracks Everlasting Light and You're The Only One see Auerbach employing a great falsetto to his repertoire. Howlin For You sees wonderful glam drumming with only the obligatory "Hey" at the end of each bar missing. Though still heavily soaked in delta blues, this album is heavy on glam-rock licks and rhythm and is a pure joy to listen to. Its easy to criticise a band for trying to evolve and Black Keys succeed and pull it off, much to the chagrin of their obstructionist die hard fan base but so be it, they won't be missed.

There's plenty on this album for those who feel Black Keys don't need to stray too far from their formula with I'm Not The One and Too Afraid To Love You both waving the Delta flag. I was a huge fan of the Black Keys before Brothers feeling that Attack And Release could not be topped (this after feeling the same about Rubber Factory). What's also great is that the US vinyl version of this record on nonesuch comes with a full cd promo of the album just like Attack And Release did. MP3 codes are good, but this is the real thing - add to this a massive fold out lyrics poster and the package is very good value. I can't recommend this version enough.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.5 stars

Trying to get through a review of any Black Keys album without mentioning a certain two piece garage blues band from Detroit with a female drummer is not easy. But here on their sixth album the comparisons grow increasingly redundant. Last year Dan Auerbach produced a truly wonderful solo album which many thought to be a real improvement on the last Black Keys full release 2008s "Attack and Release" and showed that he had many more strings to his bow that your average garage revivalist. Indeed for many Black Keys fans it is the amazing "Chulahoma: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough" the second EP by this great American duo that actually saw them set down a marker of their own and by doing so point towards a more pure form of blues rock always underpinned by the propulsive drumming of Pat Carney.

Like that EP, "Brothers" has a much more authentic slow blues ballads feel than "Attack and Release" and in addition the songs throughout are some of the best that the Black keys have recorded. You also remain in awe that a band comprising only two musicians can on times make a noise akin to a first World War barrage and totally fill any yawning spaces which haunt the recordings of so many four piece bands. Auerbach in particular plays like a man possessed and his voice is now one of the most distinctive in modern rock with an emotive ability and timbre only matched by Paul Rodgers. Check out "Next Girl" for good examples of this and a solo which draws on inspiration from Hendrix.

The band recorded this album in Muscle Shoals and openly import that era's soul and R & B into their repertoire not least the excellent "Tighten up" produced by none other than Dangermouse which avoids in turn previous criticisms of the band that many of the songs had similar progression and structures, in this sense the funky guitar instrumental "Black Mud" could have been used in the film "Shaft". Two songs in particular take this soul blues groove into the direction of Bobby Womack or Edwin Starr territory. The "Go Getter" is the sort of funky blues that Tarantino would use to soundtrack Jackie Brown while the album's highlight is a killer cover of Jerry Butler's '60s soul classic "Never Give You Up," (no not Rick Astley!) which sounds completely timeless. The same applies to "These Days" which draws upon Peter Green for inspiration and is a tender ballad characterised by super guitar work, while "Too afraid to love you" is so bluesy it hurts. Finally for those of you who reference the Black Keys with swampy blues then you have "Howlin for you" and "She's long gone" that should touch the satisfaction button.

The Black Keys have recorded in "Brothers" possibly their best and most mature album to date. It is clearly a much more soulful and slower album than say the pure hard rock of "Rubber Factory" but it is an equally rewarding listen. Auerbach and Carney continue to produce true wonders within a format which can be constraining and the kinetic energy/telepathy between them suggests that there is indeed a brotherly link between these two great musicians.

PS Love the cover by the way.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 24 October 2010
This is a truly marvellous album. I bought it because of an amazon recommends email, followed by a quick check on myspace. I have played it more times than I can shake a stick at, bought Attack and Release to hear more Black Keys and I bought 2 more copies of Brothers to inflict it on more people. I don't count myself as enough of a music reviewer to start putting labels on and drawing comparisons even though I'm sure there are plenty to made. I love it and i think that if you are looking at this album for whatever reason and you think you might like it then go for it! If you don't love it too then you are clearly a fool but you will probably know someone to give it to so you'll have lost nothing.
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VINE VOICEon 2 December 2010
Not wishing to open by dwelling on the past, but 'Attack & Release', with it's dreadful Dangermouse production, had me weeping for the gritty Black Keys of old. Letting Brian Burton slap his hazy, glossy production and bland instrumentation over Dan and Patrick's racket was, in my view, a huge mistake and he blunted the bands impact.

Fortunately he only returns to produce one song on 'Brothers', so this is an album that sounds like the band of old. It's a record that's wonderfully sleazy, slightly haggard and very loud. There feels to me to be a lot more fire in these performances, and perhaps best of all Dan has evolved as a vocalist, employing an effective falsetto on some of the tunes, which adds a new dimension to their sound.

It's a great record, perhaps even their best - and I'm so pleased they're back on top form.
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