The Black Keys
Turn Blue


2.5
average

Review

by Jordan M. STAFF
May 10th, 2014 | 115 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 (428)
Chart.
2.9
good
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • AaronBatt (3.5)
    Not all that immediate, but you get more immersed with every listen......

    humblerodent (4)
    A slick transition back to humble beginnings...

    WizardZombie (2.5)
    The Black Keys have made a change for the worse on their latest record...

    apokolypz (4.5)
    An almost perfect combination of lush fun and neo-blues....

  • Urinetrouble (2)
    "Turn Blue is the best." "Lot of loyalty for a hired fan." "It's a pretty big record." "Fo...

    Stereohead (2.5)
    The album was indeed a Bullet to the brain....


Comments:Add a Comment 
trackbytrackreviews
May 10th 2014


3382 Comments


You don't have to censor swears just saying.

HolidayKirk
May 10th 2014


1722 Comments


Good review but you need to breakup some paragraphs here.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 10th 2014


32190 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Lovely review

trackbytrackreviews
May 10th 2014


3382 Comments


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

I laughed way too hard at that.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 10th 2014


4753 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like it. Great review man, pos.

Digging: Fennesz - Agora

TheBarber
May 10th 2014


3759 Comments


great review yes

Digging: Heaume Mortal - Solstices

Cygnatti
May 10th 2014


32774 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

review is excellent. pos'd.

Gyromania
May 10th 2014


26804 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


251 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, pos'd

Prose was excellent

theNateman
May 11th 2014


3618 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This reads like a 3. Pos

Digging: Karen O and Danger Mouse - Lux Prima

fallenbird
May 11th 2014


4487 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

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

fallenbird
May 11th 2014


4487 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Also nice perspective on the review, quite interesting.



Pos'd

apokolypz
May 11th 2014


491 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


49295 Comments


they were great on snl tonight


this grew on me, prob gonna 3 it.


nice review

Apollo
May 12th 2014


10680 Comments


this band is awful

mindleviticus
May 12th 2014


9667 Comments


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

Digging: Weyes Blood - Titanic Rising

demigod!
May 12th 2014


49295 Comments


yea dude deerhunter invented spirals omg what a rip off !!

thekilleruser
May 12th 2014


45 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Honestly, I'm pleased with the overall album after not really liking the lead single all that much. Very chill album, something you can float to.

marcosmce
May 12th 2014


132 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

great review, shed some light to thoughts that were only surfacing in my head. agreed, pos'd.

alachlahol
May 12th 2014


7593 Comments


another one bites the dust



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