The Black Keys
Turn Blue


2.5
average

Review

by jordan. CONTRIBUTOR (64 Reviews)
May 10th, 2014 | 94 replies


Release Date: 05/13/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Learning to Cope.

I don't blame Auerbach and Carney for making this record; fuck, I applaud it. Ideally, these type of records shouldn't exist, but such is the pitfall of success; to avoid certain hubris, one must be content enough to bring difficulty to their craft and alienate all and entertain few. To draw out the point, one must avoid "selling out", and cut the fairweather from the dedicated.

Whether or not a sexual connotation applies, Turn Blue is frustration personified. Whether the Black Keys liked it or not, they were traveling headlong down a highway where the endgame meant crowds 80,000 strong chanting "Lonely Boy", while the band tried to prove there were six other albums they'd accomplished their chutzpah on before it all blew up. Whether they liked it or not, new found fame was as much a curse as it was a blessing, Turn Blue clarifying that The Black Keys are not an easy band.

For us as an audience, it means that Auerbach/Carney have strayed away from the song-oriented mantra that charged the success of Brothers and glass-ceiling smasher El Camino. Opener "Weight of Love" is apparent in its overlong nature, featuring cavernous low-end and Auerbach's dazed vocal performance; clearly their longest number to date if not for how droning and lumbering it is (strangely though, lacking in much menace). A romanticized headache though it may be, it's sonically far more impressive than the acid-soaked presence implied by the hypnotic themes. In earnest, The Black Keys are left with a series of tunes that run the gamut between Barret-era Floyd and Gilmour-era Floyd. Remarkably, it always remains sincere- peyote hallucinations take hold on "Bullet in the Brain", tensile dancehall fucker "It's Up to You Now"- but it hardly ever seems, in Layman's terms, entertaining. It's understandable that these two are attempting to distance themselves from maniacal ego, hubris and excess; Turn Blue however manifests itself as a punishment for the casuals and a testament to loyalty.

Absent of a single, The Black Keys don't reach the same level of crossover appeal perfected on their previous efforts; instead, they solidify their identity and narrow down their audience. Undeniably, it leaves The Black Keys with a smaller audience but higher artistic presence in the 21st Century, and we'd all much prefer that than more middle-aged men in plaid flannel shirts protesting that 'rock needs a comeback!'.

I know I would.



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user ratings (234)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
May 10th 2014


2892 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Album's out in Australia. Hardly a disaster but heavily polarizing; I felt mixed emotions listening to this.

Feedback appreciated.

Digging: Iceage - Plowing Into the Field of Love

trackbytrackreviews
May 10th 2014


1348 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You don't have to censor swears just saying.

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
May 10th 2014


1633 Comments


Good review but you need to breakup some paragraphs here.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 10th 2014


31353 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Lovely review

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
May 10th 2014


2892 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

thanks guys :-D

trackbytrackreviews
May 10th 2014


1348 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"Whether a sexual connotation applies, Turn Blue is frustration personified."

I laughed way too hard at that.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 10th 2014


3441 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like it. Great review man, pos.

Digging: Mark Lanegan - Phantom Radio

TheBarber
May 10th 2014


1972 Comments


great review yes

Digging: Iceage - Plowing Into the Field of Love

Cygnatti
May 10th 2014


21353 Comments


review is excellent. pos'd.

Gyromania
May 10th 2014


15941 Comments


"The Black Keys are left with a series of tunes that run the gambit between Barret-era Floyd and Gilmour-era Floyd."

did you mean gamut?

review is great, really it is, but the claims and ardent praise you give them for staying true to themselves and retaining that artistic credibility and so on seems to almost contradict the rating you give this.

Digging: Lantlos - .neon

humblerodent
May 10th 2014


211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, pos'd
Prose was excellent

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
May 10th 2014


2892 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Aw shucks you're all too kind

theNateman
May 11th 2014


93 Comments


This reads like a 3. Pos

fallenbird
May 11th 2014


3943 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Weight Of Love and Bullet In The Brain rock, the rest is meh.

fallenbird
May 11th 2014


3943 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Also nice perspective on the review, quite interesting.

Pos'd

apokolypz
May 11th 2014


332 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

pos'd, good read, I'm going to get one up once school work is taken care of.

demigod!
May 11th 2014


44715 Comments


they were great on snl tonight


this grew on me, prob gonna 3 it.


nice review

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

Apollo
May 12th 2014


10336 Comments


this band is awful

Xenophanes
Emeritus
May 12th 2014


10611 Comments


It's as if everyone is surprised that The Black keys made a boring album.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

mindleviticus
May 12th 2014


8292 Comments


THAT'S A GODDAMN DEERHUNTER ALBUM COVER RIPOFF IF I EVER SAW ONE



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