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4.0 out of 5 stars Frustratingly patchy
There are plenty of very knowledgeable music critics who have commented that with their latest album, Turn Blue, The Black Keys have somewhat lost their way; that they have left their gritty blues-rock roots and turned (or evolved) towards a more manufactured sound. This album has been described as ‘grand psychedelia’ and having an ‘epic, languorous...
Published 1 month ago by The Quibbler

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Black Keys - Take the wrong turn
Whilst it is good to see that the Black Keys sound continues to evolve, on the evidence of "Turn Blue" the overall quality of the music does not hold a candle to previous outings. Let us be clear this is not a bad album, there are songs like the catchy "Fever" which would easily slot on a Black Keys "Best Of" selection. The brilliant opener "Weight of Love" is mightily...
Published 5 months ago by Red on Black


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4.0 out of 5 stars Frustratingly patchy, 19 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Turn Blue (Audio CD)
There are plenty of very knowledgeable music critics who have commented that with their latest album, Turn Blue, The Black Keys have somewhat lost their way; that they have left their gritty blues-rock roots and turned (or evolved) towards a more manufactured sound. This album has been described as ‘grand psychedelia’ and having an ‘epic, languorous style’ and comparisons have been made with Pink Floyd and The Eagles. I think such comments and comparisons are valid. I agree with those who say the album is patchy; that some of the songs are just too over produced and unremarkable to warrant unqualified support. But where this album is good, it is very good indeed. ‘In Time’ and ‘Fever’ are examples but the standout song is the opener ‘Weight of Love’. In my experience, rarely does a song literally stop me in my tracks when I first hear it but this did for me. The opening haunting solo is just captivating.

Even more remarkable is the supporting cinematic video which stars supermodel Lara Stone as the leader of a cult of beautiful women who hang out on a remote beach and in grassy scrubland, live in what appears to be an abandoned house (a lighthouse?) and partake in synchronized group exercises and worship. The video is deliberately ambiguous in what it portrays and I have read many different interpretations. What is not in doubt, and this is very unusual in my view, is that the video actually enhances the song. It is beautifully shot: I love the blue azure skies, the golden brown sunset and the dreamy sequences as the girls look after each other. It transported me away from drudge of modern life of work-eat-sleep for seven minutes at least.

I have been a keen fan of The Black Keys for several years and have seen them rise and rise and I would desperately like to give this album five stars but, as noted above, the album is patchy so with much regret I award it four stars.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Turn Beige - it's pretty good, but not great., 20 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Turn Blue (Audio CD)
I enjoyed this album. There are some great songs on it, Weight of Love, 10 Lovers, Fever... But it's not amazing. They've carried on from El Camino, continuing with the more upbeat, bigger, poppier sound. I'm not a huge fan of the mixing, I have to say. I think it's been over done, and they've lost the natural tones of some of instruments - it all sounds a bit processed. I think Fever would be a good example of this. But it's not the same for all of the songs. One thing that I like is the 'noodly guitar riffs' that have been dismissed as being a bad thing. I think they're pretty good and work well - I am a guitarist though...

Overall, there are some really cool moments in this album, but there are also some that aren't so great. Not the best album they've done, but it's not too bad. Brothers was a great album, but they've come along way and changed a lot since then. I sort of wish that they would return to that sort of sound...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Black Keys - Take the wrong turn, 13 May 2014
By 
Red on Black - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Turn Blue (Audio CD)
Whilst it is good to see that the Black Keys sound continues to evolve, on the evidence of "Turn Blue" the overall quality of the music does not hold a candle to previous outings. Let us be clear this is not a bad album, there are songs like the catchy "Fever" which would easily slot on a Black Keys "Best Of" selection. The brilliant opener "Weight of Love" is mightily impressive and at around 3.15 almost sounds like a Dave Gilmour song, demonstrating that Dan Auerbach has more strings to his bow than the garage blues template of earlier albums. The problem however is that the latest musical incarnation of the Black Keys has not quite worked out what type of band it wants to be, as a result many of the other tracks are sub standard. This is exacerbated by a more fatal flaw namely what has happened to the drumming of Patrick Carney? On wonders like "Chulahoma" and "Thickfreakness" he is an anarchic force of nature not afraid to drop the odd note but making up for this with enough passion to power street lamps. Here he is like a million other drummers most awkwardly on the rather over produced "Year in Review", whilst "Its up to you now" sounds like the percussion track from an Adam Ant track. The link with producer Danger Mouse appears to be suffering from over familiarity and needs some mature reflection that perhaps it is time for a parting of the ways with a new set of ears sitting at the mixing desk.

The guitar work around "Bullet in the Brain" again sounds like its out of the Pink Floyd manual but unfortunately the lyrics are more drawn from a school poetry book. Much better is "Gotta Get Away" which does have echoes of the Eagles circa "One of these Nights" and is an infectious track demanding a long highway and the music turned "up to 11" on the volume control. This reviewer also greatly enjoyed the heavy psychedelic guitar solo on the solid "In my prime". Unfortunately these flashes of bright blue musical sky are negated by horrors like the sub John Legend funk of "Waiting on Words"

Ultimately even for more recent converts to the music of the Black Keys it would be difficult to argue honestly that this album surpasses the all round excellence of "El Camino". The band should be applauded for the desire to take a fork in the road and as many of the tracks are radio friendly they can guarantee healthy sales. Yet "Turn Blue" has a hollow ring to it, not least the regrettable absence of the impassioned dynamics and authenticity of their earlier work. This is progress therefore but at a cost.
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3.0 out of 5 stars I really like the Black Keys music and have six or seven ..., 11 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Turn Blue (Audio CD)
I really like the Black Keys music and have six or seven of their past offerings including Dan Auerbachs solo album and was really looking forward to this release. However, after playing it constantly for three weeks I am ultimately disappointed. There are too many very ordinary tracks and the production has turned many of them into "wallpaper" music with a sound that is no longer distinctive. I'm all for bands developing their music and not producing more of the same but this must go down as a band being led down the wrong path.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and not a patch on El Camino !, 21 Oct 2014
By 
Philip Piper "Da Chopfather" (Leicestershire UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Turn Blue (Audio CD)
I was a real fan of the Black Keys and loved El Camino .
Unfortunately I don't feel the same about this album . Its lacklustre and has no spirit . The songs seem to drone on forever and go nowhere .
Played it once all the way through and shall probably never listen to it again .
Not for me I'm afraid. If this is the way they are headed then I'm off in the other direction .
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 11 Great tracks ruined by truly awful production, 16 Jun 2014
This review is from: Turn Blue (Audio CD)
11 musically good tracks with no fillers; but totally ruined by some awful sound engineering. Sure, it will be ok if you listen to a low quality rip through cheap ear buds, but if you listen to the CD direct (or a lossless rip) through good hi-fi equipment you will be assaulted with overwrought, muddy bass and over-bright, ear-splitting trebles with absolutely no mid-range in between. Another CD produced for the lowest common denominator: the ipod generation. The most disappointing and frustrating album I have bought in years. It doesn't have to be like this. I bought the Arctic Monkeys AM at the same time as this and the production values compliment the effort of the Artists to give a truly great listening experience, whatever devices you use to listen
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelming Return, 14 May 2014
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This review is from: Turn Blue (Audio CD)
As far as I have been concerned, The Black Keys in the past have always developed in the right direction. 'El Camino' was the perfect combination of blues rock based riffs fused with their newly found funky mainstream vibes. 'Turn Blue' how ever is not quite the same. It is not a bad album, but would be better off if it wasn't held under the band name of The Black Keys. It's not that it is too mainstream, it is just, well, boring. Overproduced, yes. As far as guitars go, they crop up occasionally for a mellow solo, but ultimately are just backing. 'Weight of Love' is an excellent song, perfect for an end of set closer. Problem is the chilled out vibe it has reflects through every song on the album. It is amazing how they managed to rip off one of their own songs on the same album with 'Bullet in the Brain'.

Overall it is just disappointing and kept hoping songs would start slow like 'Yellow Black Submarines' for kicking in a killer riff. But no, songs like 'Turn Blue' are prime examples of this. It does not go anywhere, and the opening guitar riff it has through out is not even good. As for 'Fever; it is one of the albums three good songs, but again it seems like it is only on this album to fit as a single. We have to wait till the last song to hear any echoes of classic Black Keys, with a pleasant 'Gotta Get Away'.

To say this is the longest we have ever had to wait for a BK album, it really does not do any justice. I reiterate it is not bad, but even newly found fans pre 2010 can't argue that this is any more than good.
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3.0 out of 5 stars 10 lovers, 10 July 2014
This review is from: Turn Blue (Audio CD)
Easy listening , enjoyable and I keep coming back for another listen , better than a lot of bands latest offerings
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5.0 out of 5 stars New black keys tunes!, 10 July 2014
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This review is from: Turn Blue (Audio CD)
Excellent new release from the black keys. Have all their stuff and the music is definitely moved on with a lot of different sounding tracks. Love the boys and their music. A must see live. Highlights on this are definitely the longest track recorded to date - weight of love, turn blue, bullet in the brain and the good old rock n roll track gotta get away. Fever is another brilliant tune which ticks all the right boxes. Long live Dan and Patrick!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 8 July 2014
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This review is from: Turn Blue (Audio CD)
fantastic
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