22/05/2014
What do you do after you release an album as critically acclaimed and commercially successful as The Black Keys’ last album, the breakout hit El Camino? Release an even better one that also sees the band return to their roots.

Words by

Alexander Crowden

Turn Blue doesn't have a radio-ready hit like Lonely Boy or Gold on the Ceiling, yet the album is more solid across the board than its predecessor, with quality oozing out of all eleven tracks.

It doesn't appear that The Black Keys have intentionally stopped their chances of getting commercial radio play with this album- now that they're on the average person's radar, they probably still will get that air time. It just sounds more like their previous albums, and there sure as hell ain't nothing wrong with that.  

The Southern American style of rock'n'roll is still here in plain view, however it isn’t turned up to eleven this time. Lead single 'Fever' was released last month and underwhelmed some punters who were clearly hoping for something bigger- the track sees the band playing within themselves from a sonic point of view. Give it a few listens and it's sure to grow on you.  

Hidden away as the final track, 'Gotta Get Away' is the closest thing to a commercial hit; its buzzy guitars, thumping drums and Dan Auerbach's catchy vocals and left-of-centre lyrics make it undeniably the most memorable track of the album from the first spin.

'In Time' is ethereal in its sound and the song benefits from the experimentation, while title track 'Turn Blue' sounds like The Zutons, in a good way.   Following up a breakout album is never easy, and the Ohio duo have navigated those treacherous waters with class. 

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