2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Brothers (Audio CD)
First off, I am a huge Keys fan, and I am also one of the few who really liked Attack and Release. I thought that album was very clever, soulful, was a move forward toward a more mature sound, and laid the way for Dan's solo album very well. However with this album, they seem to have gone in a different direction to all their previous efforts. It is over-commercialised, shallow, the lyrics stink, and there seems to be none of the energy of previous efforts. I realise that they have won some new fans this time around, but it really is a dumbed-down version of the Black Keys for an audience that would have found them too noisy before. The lyrics especially grate on me, with almost every song following the same theme- guy loves girl, girl leaves. Ok, the Keys have never exactly been Bob Dylan lyrically, but some of the tracks really are blues 101; "That's me, the boy with the broken halo, that's me, that's me, the devil won't let me be" they might as well have sung about Dan going down to the crossroads and selling his soul.
Overall, I think they've tried to make a blues album for people who don't like blues. It's a very obvious attempt at breaking through. Every track sounds like a single, and is over-simplified, easliy accessible blues. In doing so they have left behind some of the magic that they had before. If you like this album, I'd be surprised if you liked 'The Big Come Up' which is raw, loud, harsh, and full of energy.
People will probably cite this as being a more 'mature' effort. I would say it's exactly the opposite. Have a listen to Attack and Release and Dan's solo album 'Keep It Hid' for a more mature Keys sound.
I saw them live at Colston Hall recently and was chuffed to hear them play so much material from their old albums. It was those songs that had the crowd bouncing off the walls, with just Pat and Dan turned up to 11 and bass drum pounding your chest. Once they wheeled out the bass player and the organ player to go through the stuff off 'Brothers', there is no doubt everything got a bit subdued, and some of the energy went. Which is why it was a relief that they buggered off again to let the duo finish the gig on their own.
To be honest I don't really know why they pretend there are only two of them in the band anymore anyway.
Disappointing. Go back to Akron and lock yourselves back in the tire factory for 6 months til you come out with something better.