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on May 13, 2014
This band is almost unrecognizable now, Danger Mouse having taken the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th spots in the band. Patrick Carney's imperfect desperation has been synthesized and pinched to drum-machine perfection, every one of Dan Auerbach's choruses is doubled by an unearthly reverbed angel voice an octave higher, every melody line is punctuated by a synth note to make sure it sticks in your head. Don't get me wrong, I like Danger Mouse fine, but this is in no way shape or form the Black Keys. It is Danger Mouse featuring performances by the Black Keys. Maybe that's what they wanted to create and that's totally fine, but I've heard a lot of Danger Mouse and once you've heard his bag of tricks it gets pretty repetitive.

Then again, some of these songs are deeply lame. That Fever song would never be on the radio without that horribly overloud synth melody line repeating over and over like a commercial jingle. It's really generic and pretty bad, but it's like an ice pick in your head which I guess is what makes a radio song.

I give three stars only because the first track alone is worth the price of admission. The Black Keys meet Pink Floyd. Again it's nothing like the Black Keys that I know, but it's awesome so that's okay. Most albums don't have a truly great song, and this has one, so that's worth at least a couple of stars.
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on June 3, 2014
We all know the Black Keys formed in 2001 in Akron, Ohio as a blues garbage band struggling to be heard. They made some incredible independent CD's "The Big Come Up", "Rubber Factory" "Thickfreakness" to name just a few. After years of touring in a beat-up mini-van. Dan and Pat found some success from "Attack and Release" as their shows began to see larger crowds. The further success of "Brothers" in 2010 was a surprise in part because radio actually picked up the track "Tighten-up" that CD had a vibe of blues-meets Motown. El-Camino was their stadium CD and propelled the band into mainstream recognition but all the rock-blues sound was there it just was more polished and refined. In 2014, along comes "Turn Blue" and this CD can be described as blues meets psychedelia. The opening track "Weight of Love" is Pink Floyd meets the blues this is even more evident when played live. Its a 7 minute tour deforce of Dan's guitar solos (I counted 4) The other track which is a stand out and is ever bit as blues rock but with Danger Mouse having a influence is "Bullet in the Brain" the jam to that track is every bit as incredible as their earlier work its just that these tracks have production flourishes that I have come to enjoy. The keyboards on that song and the amazing bass lines on this track make it a killer. The song played live is mind-blowing when Dan and Pat play its a musical marriage that will hopeful continue for years. Pat's drums with the bass (played live by Richard Swift- The Shins) transform you into another world. "Year in review" "10 Lovers" and " In our Prime" clearly written while Dan was in the process of his divorce the lyrics all have themes about regret and fault in a relationships which are complicated. "Gotta Get Away" is 70's AM rock that has a Creedence Clearwater vibe. Turn Blue is the type of CD that you can not go into with expectations that you will hear "Magic Potion" because you won't this is a headphones CD that requires you to pay attention its not a CD for the lazy music listener it sneaks up on you and grabs you in a good way. The blues that you love is still there its just more polished, and less grungy.
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on May 14, 2014
I have listened to this album twice already and I am impressed. The album doesn't have the fun/single heavy factor that El Camino had but it is much more mature and deeper album than its predecessors. The production, song writing, and playing are all top notch. It is much darker than previous Black Keys albums but it does a good job of combining blues, funk, 70s Pink Floyd psychedelic genres to create something that is interesting/unique to listen to (especially on your 8th studio album) which is a quality that I respect from musicians.
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on May 13, 2014
From the first two tracks released before the album’s release, we can all agree that this album features a drastic change in sound however there are definitely glimpses of classic Keys in there.

Weight of Love – This is perhaps one of the strongest track on the album and reminiscent of Pink Floyd, what with the haunting intro and evocative guitar solos interspersed with lyrics open to interpretation.

In Time – The intro confuses the listener but this track fulfills the cliché of “growing on you” as the song carries on. This song evolves into a sound very close to signature Keys and the chorus is the kind that will get stuck in your head.

Turn Blue – I think this will evoke mixed feelings from Keys fans like myself but I have come to really like this song. The sound is not too different from their usual style but the vocals are outstanding and again, the chorus is fit for the song. It is also not over-mixed and has a largely bare-bones structure to it.

Fever – Despite playing it to death, this song simply does not do it for me. Perhaps it is the stark departure from their traditional sound to a synth-pop edge. No, it is definitely that!

Year in Review – This is one track in which the lead guitar is heard very briefly in the last minute and there is a lot of synthesized sounds sprinkled in various parts. I found it to be average, albeit with a catchy tune.

Bullet in the brain – One wonders to what extent is this song inspired by Dan’s divorce (“share the blame” and “I was in the wrong but you weren't in it anymore”) however it is a very dark track and comes across as a fervent manifestation of very personal pain.

It’s up to you now – The drumming is interesting on this one and the solo is well worth the listen; they performed this song on Letterman.

Waiting on words – The riff is simple yet hypnotic and the song’s slow beat nicely compliments the song’s pensive lyrics.

10 Lovers – The opening is somewhat reminiscent of the 80s however the bitter lyrics offer a meaningful contrast. The overall sound is very mellow and misses Dan’s trademark guitar tone until the ending.

In our prime – The guitar solo towards the end is very welcome because the song changes its mood a couple of times and you need to pick the part you like.

Gotta get away – Well, this one’s definitely for the radio; a light-hearted song which is a nice departure from the melancholy present in some of the songs on this album. I would have preferred the tiny guitar solo to be less effects-laden however.

So to sum up then, it is definitely an experiment but a good one. I think the most important thing for all Black Keys fans like myself is to put away their prejudices regarding the new sound and hoping for a continuation. This is something I know I am guilty of with regards to Fever because I think with some impartial listening, it will come across as a better song than it does with hindsight clouding my judgement.
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on December 6, 2014
Over the years The Black Keys have put out a ton of amazing material. Notably Brothers and El Camino. Each album has a specific feel and style. Out of the 3 major albums I consider this the most in depth and varied record. I browsed through reviews for this album and was surprised to see many people discredit the album because of Danger Mouse's work on the record. Many also discredited the album because of changes to their original sound.

This is how I look at it: I listened to the album without reading about it, without researching it, without looking at linear notes. I didn't know who helped make the album, I didn't know where they recorded it, I didn't know what the subject matter would be.

What I heard was a dark, melodic, soul-filled masterpiece that's downright beautiful from start to finish. The mixing on this album is incredible, and the guitar work is by far their best. If one man's involvement with an album can change your point of view then I fear you may not be actually LISTENING to the music and instead diluting what your original opinion may have been without outside influence. My advice is, the next time an album comes out just put it in and listen with some high quality headphones. Don't over think it. This album is a piece of art and undoubtedly one of the best albums I have heard in 2014.

Best songs include:
01. Weight of Love
02. In Time
05. Year in Review
10. In Our Prime

In Our Prime is by far the best song on the album. The guitar solo at the end of that track has blues and emotion pouring from the strings. The writing of this album is dark and emotional but sometimes that pain can translate into beautiful works of art. In this case it did beautifully.

I can't recommend this album enough. Take a listen for yourself, maybe you'll hear what I heard-- a masterpiece.
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on May 18, 2014
I'm very disappointed with the direction the Black Keys have taken on this album. I'm all for trying different things, but sometimes experimentation doesn't work out, and this is one of those times. Only a couple memorable tracks here. Like others have mentioned, I won't be pre-ordering their future albums without a careful listen. It pains me to say that after being on their bandwagon for a solid 10 years.
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on May 28, 2014
This is the album Beck wished he'd made as the Black Keyes come in
from the cold with 45 minutes of tightly produced music where hook,
line and sinker are always on the menu and plagiarism is allowed to
roam freely - Influence and Inspirations abound with shades of Floyd
Bolan, Sparks and Cheap Trick running riot through most of the eleven
tracks .

As with most successful home grown talent who inevitably reach their
crossroads of commercialism versus creativity, the easier decision to
tread water, usually leads, 9 times out of 10, to an early grave .

Auerbach changes coarse by borrowing from some of his high heeled
predecessors while still maintaining a clear vision for this bands artistic
future .

Outstanding Contributions .

Weight Of Love - Turn Blue - Fever - It's Up To You - 10 Lovers .

Buy It Or Fly It - Turning Blue - It's A Four Star Buy - PC - LA .
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on May 30, 2014
I am a big fan of the Keys music. I was very surprised, or rather shocked at first listen. Fortunately I put my headphones on and could hear some of the nuances happening in the songs. This album had me confused because the music was so different from their previous work. Since I believe in their musical integrity I knew that I would eventually understand the direction they have taken with their music on this album. As expected I did eventually come to love this album. They have been stretching their sound for the last two albums. Brothers had a little more soul to it while El Camino was a little more rock than their usual garage blues sound. This album makes sense in their progression as a band over the last four years. This album is very good but not like anything they have released in the past. My recommendation is to listen to this album with headphones on.
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on May 16, 2014
Huge Black Keys fan here. More a fan of the early albums but love every album on their own right.

This latest album is much more similar to their later works. Most specifically El Camino; which should not be a surprise since these two albums share a common producer (Danger Mouse of Gorillaz fame). If you like El Camino, I think you'll like this album.

I need to listen to this album over and over a few more times to determine where it stands amongst the other Black Keys albums; at this time it might not be my favorite album to date, but there are definitely some good tracks. Again, if you like the sound of El Camino, then this album is some more of the same.

There are times where the grungier blue-garage-rock of older Black Keys comes out, but this album is more full of psychedelic expansive sounds. At times, there would appear to be some heavy Pink Floyd influence that I don't think I've picked up on other BK albums (listen to "Bullet in the Brain", it's killing me that I can't remember which PF song this is reminding me...)

[Edit: I made the statements about Danger Mouse and Pink Floyd before seeing all the other reviews making the same comparisons!! lol]
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on August 28, 2014
It's The Black Keys, of course it's good. Yes, it's different from their previous stuff, but that's alright. Band evolve over time, they get into different styles, find different ways of presenting new music. I do like their old stuff better, but that doesn't mean that this album isn't great for its own reasons. It's got the typical feel that The Black Keys usually has, just a more... modern? take to it. Trying to appeal to larger audiences I suppose. Danger Mouse definitely has something to do with it, but I'm a fan of him too. Weight of Love and Turn Blue are probably my favorite tracks on the album. Weight of Love is a little more like their old stuff I suppose. None of the tracks I HATE but Fever is starting to go to the top of that list. That's not going to stop me from going to their concert in September.
Anyways, if you're a loyal Keys fan, I would suggest getting it. If this is your first time listening to them, start with their older stuff and work your way up to this.
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