Rubber Factory is The Black keys second full-length album. The Black Keys are a duo from Northeast Ohio and are simply a modern day exponent of blues rock, bringing old ideas and motifs into modern alternative music. Thickfreakness is definitely my favourite Black Keys album as the vocals are clearer and guitar work is more diverse than Rubber factory.
The Black Keys is:
Dan Auerbach - guitar and vocals
Patrick Carney – drums
You wont believe that only two people can make such simple, raw and consistently pure music. I’m not into The White Stripes and can’t fairly compare their music but from what I’ve heard I believe The Black Keys have more talent and are more efficient. Here is my track by track analysis.
01 – Thickfreakness
Wow is all I can say, this song is a knockout. It explodes into action with a Jimmy Page flavoured guitar riff which definitely starts off the album which energy and brilliance. The guitar work is very reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s groovier songs yet sludgier and the throaty vocals show a definite Hendrix influence. One of the best introductions to an album I’ve heard. 5/5 :)
02 – Hard Row
After I heard this song I bought this album it’s fantastic. Dan’s guitar work shows that rock is still alive and the powerful vocals are extremely catchy
If you wanna go and leave your man
Go on, I’ll understand"
You’ll find yourself grooving and dancing to this one before you know it. 5/5
03 – Set You Free
This has to be the best song on the album and one of the best songs I’ve heard. Patrick’s drum roll explodes followed by an amazing guitar riff which is so thick and powerful it freaks you out that it’s only two people. The verse and chorus are excellent with catchy lyrics
“Now you look and there you go back to him, he’s gonna do you in
Tear you down and run you around
Treat you wrong and then he's gone
Let him go, walk out your door
And come to me
I’m gonna set you free"
This is the song on School of Rock in the bar scene if you like that movie. 5/5 :D
04 – Midnight In Her Eyes
This song is very different to the first 3 as it has a slower and more relaxed feel. Gorgeous sounding guitar chords accompany the great lyrics. It’s good but lacking the beauty of the first 3 tracks.
“Midnight In Her Eyes
Midnight is in her eyes
Tear drops like a child
You never thought about goin’ wrong
Now you wonder where your man has gone" 4/5
05 – Have Love Will Travel
A solid song showcasing band's consistent sound on Thickfreakness. Great guitar work showing Dan’s genius is creating simple crunchy riffs and lovely vocals and lyrics.
“Have Love Will Travel
If you need lovin’, oh baby I travel.
I travel from Maine down to Mexico
To find that girl that loves me so" 4/5
06 – Hurt Like Mine
The energy of the album seems to die a little in the second half of the track and listeners may get bored after the fantastic first few tracks as with Rubber Factory. This song is very average and stays true to the consistency of the album.
“Hurt Like Mine
How you hurt me, oh how you cause me pain
Well hurt like mine you could never never understand". 3/5
07 – Everywhere I Go
This track is somewhat sadder and emotional then the other songs it shows a sensitive side of The Black Keys. The slow-paced instrumentals are soothing and because there are little vocals it lets you be taken away by the instrumentals. Good song. 4/5
08 – No Trust
Hendrix-like guitar works starts off ‘No trust" with a cool section where the guitar starts off slow and gradually paces up and down. The stand is very average as the lyrics and vocals are nothing ground-breaking, the guitar parts which start and end the verses and chorus are definitely worth it.
“Ain't go no trust in your mama
Ain't got no trust in your daddy
Ain't got no trust in your sister
And she ain't got trust in you" 4/5
09 – If You See Me
A rather mediocre song and is rather repetitive but features good catchy lyrics and playful little riffs which bridges them. These songs are so consistent it’s hard to compare them they are damn good and true to the music they make.
“If you see me comin’ open up your door
If you see me comin' open up your door
I'll give you more lovin' than any man before" 3/5
10 – Hold Me In Your Arms
A song of the same standard as ‘If You See Me" also it contains the usual catchy vocals and sludgy guitar work. Very average and nothing compared to ‘Hard Row" and “Set You Free". 3/5
11 – I Cry Alone
This is the only song on the album where the drums seem to be alone. Fairly average as a closing song but bad as a stand alone track because the guitar only has a small role. It’s slow and soulful and does it’s job as a closer yet is the worst song on the album. 2/5
I enjoyed Thickfreakness way more than Rubber Factory. It’s a great consistent album but not of my favourites as I’m not into blues stuff but still you have to admire the great songs and musicianship that Patrick and Dan create. If you enjoyed Rubber Factory this will blow you away but if you hated Rubber factory you should stay away from it. I was looking forward to seeing them live a few months ago but all the tickets were already SOLD OUT!! Anyway the first half of the album is great but the last half is a big minus so I’m giving it 4 stars.