Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Top 50 Albums of the 00s - #30: The Black Keys - Rubber Factory

Yep, we're counting down the top 50. Click here for overview and criteria.

Music history is riddled with white folks stealing from black folks and making millions. One could look at this modern(ish) take on the dirtiest blues available and say the same thing. But to say that The Black Keys (a group comprised solely of guitarist/vocalist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney) is merely retreading ground already laid by others would be to miss the point. Taking the best elements from John Spencer Blues Explosion and bringing it all back down to earth, they have gone to great lengths to live up to their Akron, Ohio roots. The whole album sounds like it could indeed have been created within some kind of industrial factory.

The plodding opening track, "When the Lights Go Out," indicates that we are here for darkness. It is a murky, dirty groove with the simplest of beats. But then "10 A.M. Automatic" kicks in and quickly sets us right, bringing the needed energy to get through an entire album of bluesy riffs and rootsy crooning.

This is not music meant to inspire or antagonize. The whole point is the groove, hip enough to dance to, and soulful enough to drive to with the top down. I must admit that I did not expect to dig these guys. The whole prospect of "just two dudes" indicates that it should just be too damn minimalist for me. But I can't let this record go. When I have the urge to simply feel good, it's the perfect soundtrack. Well, once we get past that first tune of course.

Previous Entries:
#31 - Wolfmother - Wolfmother
#32 - Juno - A Future Lived in Past Tense
#33 - Bad Religion - The New America
#34 - Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
#35 - Rodrigo y Gabriela - Rodrigo y Gabriela
#36 - Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer
#37 - Crooked Fingers - Red Devil Dawn
#38 - The National - Boxer
#39 - Hot Water Music - Caution
#40 - Eels - Daisies of the Galaxy

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