The Black Keys
Attack & Release


4.5
superb

Review

by SigismundFreudian USER (15 Reviews)
February 23rd, 2012 | 18 replies | 2,829 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Danger Mouse introduces The Black Keys to Psychedelia.

0 of 3 thought this review was well written

It's impossible to even begin discussing this album without mentioning the person behind it, Danger Mouse. Danger Mouse has developed an eminent reputation for being not just one of the most respected producers in modern music, but also as an accomplished songwriter who has worked in a variety of genres.

It's tough to say how much of this new found psychedelic influence in the music comes from Danger Mouse, and how much comes from The Black Keys themselves. The Black Keys had begun to develop a reputation for their heavy Blues Rock sound, but Psychedelia was never present in their past albums, so it's safe to assume that Danger Mouse was responsible for this new metamorphosis in sound. Now, when first hearing that an artist mainly associated with Hip-Hop was going to produce an album by a Blues band, it's tough to say what people were going to expect but I'm quite certain that this wasn't it. Attack & Release, for the most part, contains the same ferocity of dirty Blues Rock that can be found in their past efforts but with slight decorations of Psychedelic effects. The album begins with "All You Ever Wanted", a soulful acoustic ballad with minor electrical effects for a psychedelic vibe, but overall we get a sense that this is still the same Black Keys we've heard before. Acoustic pieces were a rare treat in previous albums, but from this first track we can already feel the involvement of Danger Mouse within the overall sound. The albums then descends into "I Got Mine", which displays a return to what The Black Keys are known for. "I Got Mine" displays the dextrous synergy Danger Mouse and The Black Keys have developed in their recording sessions. The song, for the most part, presents itself in the familiar Blues Rock fashion the band associates itself with but as the song progresses we find ourselves descending into a strange ambience of psychedelia in the midsection. The Black Keys have never experimented with this type of arrangement in past albums, yet it comes out so natural, as if this was nothing new. Songs like "Strange Times" and "Oceans & Streams" follow the same expert coalescence of Psychedelia and Blues Rock, which is a formula reminiscent to that of Cream, whose music was a major influence in this particular album.

"Psychotic Girl" is another highlight within the album, starting off with a banjo intro and then flowing into a Bluesy atmosphere orchestrated with typical Rock & Roll and synthesizer effects. The harmonizing back vocals that are used to decorate Dan Auerbach in the chorus create a haunting ambience that make this song one of the band's best compositions. Danger Mouse also guides Dan and Patrick through some new approaches, for example, the tribalistic and paradoxically named; "Same Old Thing". The song features a recurring flute melody that guides the song, which makes for an interesting listen. Then, there is "Remember When (Side A)", a soft ballad composed of a multitude of psychedelic effects which truly separates it from the rest of the music in the album. Finally, the album finishes with "Things Ain't Like They Used To Be".

For the most part, Attack & Release is a typical Black Keys' album, but Danger Mouse has truly taken this band to new a level of artistry. There is a stronger emphasis on atmospheric ambience within the musical orchestration, but overall, fans can rest assured that The Black Keys haven't steered away too far from their past tendencies. This was a defining moment for the band, as it heralded a new direction in music that would continue to be present in the latter albums, as they incorporate a variety of instruments and sounds into their typical formula of Blues music. This is a fantastic album that would grow to become a steeping stone for a band that would flourish into one of modern Rock's most respected acts. This album is sure to satisfy any fan of The Black Keys.



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user ratings (521)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
aboynameddirt (4.5)
A superb album that still holds the band's core sound, but strengthens it with some developmental ch...

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The Keys grow up and recored an amazing album...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
SigismundFreudian
February 23rd 2012



36 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

tribute to one of my favorite bands who wrote one of my favorite albums.

ILJ
February 23rd 2012



6551 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

But, this album is mediocre.

Digging: The Hotelier - Home, Like NoPlace Is There

SigismundFreudian
February 23rd 2012



36 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@ ILJAJLM
Well that is your opinion, and i respect it.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2012



23671 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

love this album, my favourite Black Keys of the three that I've heard. ok review.

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2012



23671 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

why does that not surprise me

iFghtffyrdmns
February 23rd 2012



7047 Comments


i played a game while I read this.
I took a shot of whiskey every time that I read "Danger Mouse"
and then I died.


Nice review, albeit a bit repetitive obviously.

FrankRedHot
February 23rd 2012



6448 Comments


Isn't this the same guy that called The Strokes post-punk?

Cipieron
February 23rd 2012



3508 Comments


i count 11 Danger Mouse's


but yes, this band sucks

Eeyah
February 23rd 2012



36 Comments


I don't understand, was this review neg'd because you didn't agree with his opinion or did you not like the writing style. Personally I like the review and the album

Island
February 23rd 2012



577 Comments


writer thinks reviews matter

lol

SigismundFreudian
February 23rd 2012



36 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@ Eeyah
Thanks for defending me but its not that they dont think this review is good, theyre just picking on me because i have been uploading 3 reviews a day and i have been using my previous account to Pos my own reviews, My way of trying to keep my approval rating up (I'm not the only one who has done that.)
i wanted to use my reviews as a portfolio to get a professional writing gig with a music magazine.

But this is my last Sputnik entry. I will no longer upload anything and I wish you all the best of luck.

Island
February 23rd 2012



577 Comments


famous last words

jefflebowski
February 23rd 2012



6855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this album is so transitional

SigismundFreudian
February 23rd 2012



36 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@ Island
for someone who has never written a review you sure do have a lot to say.
To quote Lester Bangs, "I'll see you on our long journey to the middle."
-those are my final words. bye.

NigelH
February 23rd 2012



1571 Comments


you have potential as a writer, but you say the same things repeatedly.

jefflebowski
February 23rd 2012



6855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

to quote greil marcus, 'what is this shit?'

Island
February 23rd 2012



577 Comments


for someone who has never written a review you sure do have a lot to say.


lol for someone with 10+ alts you'd think youd understand how they easily hide past sputnik blunders,
ie reviews.

that is, if you dont make their initial source account obv like you

miss you bunches

good ridance

Satellite
February 23rd 2012



19933 Comments


Not what we are looking for.

-NME

Digging: The Menzingers - Rented World



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