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Attack and Release

4.4 out of 5 stars 165 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 1, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

On Attack and Release, Danger Mouse is more creative co- conspirator than traditional figure behind the boards. He doesn't radically alter the duo 's sound so much as coax out more of its inherent soulfulness, groove and bittersweet emotion. Two versions of 'Remember When' illustrate how the duo can swing easily from smoldering ballad to thrashing rocker. 'I' m more pleased with the sound of this record than any one we'v e ever made,' says Carney, and Auerbach concurs: 'We never let it all go l ike we did for this one, anything was game. It was just fun to make, and that's why I t hink it's so successful.'

Amazon.com

Of all the two-piece rock bands (Dresden Dolls, The White Stripes, The Kills, John & Jehn) out there making a royal racket, The Black Keys are by far the least affected by the last three decades of popular music, and evolution. Even more so than Jack & Meg. Which makes you check the album credits twice and then seek a second opinion--produced by celebrated uber-producer, superstar DJ and one half of Gnarls Barkley, the ubiquitous and really quite modern Danger Mouse?! No, your eyes do not deceive you, but thankfully neither do your ears. He may have brought a discipline and expensive sheen to Attack & Release, the riffing is buffed up real good, but this is essentially the same band that continues to live less of a life and more a Jimi Hendrix Experience. If there is a change it's that for the first time their foot is teased off the accelerator, with "Lies", "Remember When (Side A)" and "Oceans & Streams" loosening their shoulders and playing a more chilled brand of dusty sunset southern blues, adding in keys and new layers of texture (is that really a flute on "Same Old Thing"?!). There's still plenty of chance, on the massive Zeppelin-esque "Strange Times" and "Remember When (Side B)" for instance, to leave a boot mark though. More release than attack this time around, but the key still fits. --James Berry
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 1, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B0014QABX0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,440 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. VanDenEng on April 1, 2008
Format: Audio CD
this is a great album. it was a nice move for the black keys to do something like this instead of another straight up blues/rock album. this album still maintains the black keys blues/rock flavor, but with an added danger mouse "spice". i heard that Ike Turner was meant to be a part of this album, but he passed away before that could be realized. that would have been very interesting to say the least. but back to the review of what is, and not what might have been- i know there will be a few reviews on here that will say something like "they changed" or something to that effect but the truth is, they went in a new direction and did something fresh. they have 4+ albums of the best damn blues/garage/rock ever made, and this new piece is a great addition. if they had made another straight up blues/rock album, then there would be folks saying things like "they should have done something different" so what can you do? i am going to hate myself for writing this, but this album reminds me A LITTLE of when the white stripes put out satan get behind me. ONLY because there are some new elements/instruments (moog/synth, banjo, woodwind/flute?, keys, hand claps, etc) on this album that may influence some fans to refer to this album as slightly experimental. i'm having a hard time putting my thoughts into words, and perhaps i should have waited a few days to post a review, but if you like the black keys, you will like this album. and even if you don't end up digging it, spend the ten bucks and support these guys. they are some of the few who are doing it right these days. i've been a fan since the beginning (the big come up) and i truly dig this album. long live the black keys.
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Format: Audio CD
On some level I agree with other reviewer. I totally understand why the Black Keys made this album. They are trying to move ahead musically but I feel that there are more weak songs on this album than any of their previous albums. Let me start by saying this is not like any other Black Keys albums. It is the Black Keys playing over some light trip-hop beats (provided by Danger Mouse aka the other half of Gnarls Barkley). The truth is that some of the songs on here are awesome and really capture the essence of what the Black Keys are all about (which as I see it is dirty mid fi rock and roll blues). On every Black Keys release until this one I could listen to the songs all the way through without skipping even one track. I love those albums, but this album I only kind of like. I skip a few songs when they come on. The songs I don't skip I love on this album though. If this is your introduction to the Black Keys I would start with one of their earlier albums. If you own all those, don't hesitate to buy this now. Just be aware that this is different than what you've heard before from The Black Keys.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Black Keys' latest release was originally intended as the collaborative product of DJ Dangermouse, Ike Turner, and the title band. The man responsible for "Crazy," a couple of white Midwestern bluesmen, and the guy who almost sent Tina Turner rolling down the river was an unlikely grouping to say the least, and I for one was curious to hear the inevitably bizarre album. Unfortunately, before this marvelously disparate musical collision could get on its way Ike Turner passed away. Who knew decades of drug, alcohol, and spousal abuse could end a life so early? Ike left this plane of existence at the age of seventy-six.

I half expected a DJ Dangermouse mash up between The Black Keys and Li'l Bow Wow (or, does he go by Bow Wow now?), but thankfully Dangermouse decided to mostly stay out of the way and let the Keys do their thing. If you were to suck all the studio trickery out of Attack & Release you would still have a collection of some damn fine songs. What Dangermouse ends up doing best is accentuating the open space on the slower songs. He adds a psychedelic atmosphere that fits perfectly with the classic rock underpinnings of The Black Keys' songwriting, which has always been a few steps closer to Cream and Hendrix than Robert Johnson.

"Same Old Thing" is perhaps the only song where it feels as if Dangermouse is unsure of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney's songwriting and unleashes some unnecessary Gil Scot Heron inspired flutes just to gum up the works. The result is unfortunately more than a little distracting. Dangermouse is most effective on "Psychotic Girl," an acid trip on the bayou that's enhanced by wraithlike backing vocals and eerie piano notes.
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Format: Audio CD
After four albums with little production and raw blues riffs it was inevitable that TBK would spice things up with some new elements and a polished sound. Although I understand the change I definetly miss little blues numbers like "Run Me Down" and "Hurt Like Mine". TBK's first three albums were so good, all 4 1/2 to 5 stars, that I'm beginning to think not even TBK will ever be able to out-do themselves.

From what I've heard and read it seems like DangerMouse didn't get in the way of the band that much, but he was a big reason this album sounded different and it's obvious when his influence is heavy. In an interview I read, DangerMouse talked about which songs he had alot of input on, and those just happen to be the songs I like the least. For example, "Remember When" Side A is the song I just skip on the album without question. I made myself listen and tried to give it a chance but it's just an experiment in production gone bad. "All You Ever Wanted" had a chance to be a great song if DangerMouse or whomever is responsible would have squeezed more out of the heavy ending and extended what was just getting interesting. Also there are a couple more effects DangerMouse added that just seem to be there for the sake of being there.

After making DangerMouse seem like the blues killer I should say there are a couple of things he did really well. I like that Dan's voice is more pronounced in most of the songs, he has a great blues rock voice and it should be a big part of all the songs. I think the piano and bango sound in "Psychotic Girl" and then the flute and production of "Same Old Thing" worked really well with the songs and made for two of the better songs on the album.

For me what makes this album a 3 1/2 star instead of a 3 is "Lies" and "I Got Mine".
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