The Black Keys
Turn Blue


2.5
average

Review

by jordan. CONTRIBUTOR (65 Reviews)
May 10th, 2014 | 100 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 (243)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
May 10th 2014


3186 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: First Aid Kit - Stay Gold

trackbytrackreviews
May 10th 2014


1717 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You don't have to censor swears just saying.

Digging: frnkiero andthe cellabration - Stomachaches

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
May 10th 2014


1664 Comments


Good review but you need to breakup some paragraphs here.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 10th 2014


31493 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Lovely review

Digging: Hyperdub - Hyperdub 10.4

Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
May 10th 2014


3186 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

thanks guys :-D

trackbytrackreviews
May 10th 2014


1717 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


3483 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like it. Great review man, pos.

Digging: Brant Bjork - Black Flower Power

TheBarber
May 10th 2014


2055 Comments


great review yes

Digging: Set Fire to Flames - Telegraphs in Negative/Mouths Trapped in

Cygnatti
May 10th 2014


21888 Comments


review is excellent. pos'd.

Digging: Chansey - Natural Cure

Gyromania
May 10th 2014


15967 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.

humblerodent
May 10th 2014


217 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, pos'd
Prose was excellent

Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
May 10th 2014


3186 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Aw shucks you're all too kind

theNateman
May 11th 2014


104 Comments


This reads like a 3. Pos

Digging: Brent Walsh - 7

fallenbird
May 11th 2014


4057 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

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

Digging: As Tall As Lions - As Tall As Lions

fallenbird
May 11th 2014


4057 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Also nice perspective on the review, quite interesting.

Pos'd

apokolypz
May 11th 2014


341 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


45005 Comments


they were great on snl tonight


this grew on me, prob gonna 3 it.


nice review

Digging: Autechre - LP5

Apollo
May 12th 2014


10364 Comments


this band is awful

Xenophanes
Emeritus
May 12th 2014


10621 Comments


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

mindleviticus
May 12th 2014


8326 Comments


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



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