Have you ever listened to a record and as each song ended, you looked forward to the next, excited to see what else the artist(s) had to offer? For me, that doesn’t happen very often. What usually happens is I listen to a record and at the end, think, “Ok, I’ll keep listening, maybe it will grow on me.” Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.
Last August, I was introduced to the Black Keys. It was while we were painting our kitchen and our friend who was in from Seattle was playing new stuff for us (you know, since we’re old and tired and don’t get out much!).
We had first listened to a band, who shall remain nameless, and who are very popular right now, and who I do not like. After we finished
sludging through lisening to their record, Mark said, “Have you heard the Black Keys’ newest, Brothers?” We had not and were excited to listen.
With the first pounding drum beats and driving guitar of the opening track, “Everlasting Light”, I was hooked. From there, almost every track started out with a dynamic riff, with soul-singing and lyrics that sounded like they must be coming from a 60 year old black man, right?!
Wrong! These guys are probably in their 30’s, white and from Akron, OH. I was even more amazed.
The more we listened, the more I freaked out. It’s been a really long time since I’ve heard music that you can dance and sing along to, and that makes you want to cuss, it’s so good.
For weeks afterward, I became a Black Keys’ disciple. I told my friends about them, played some of Brothers’ tracks in an impromptu backyard dance party, and even got our four year old son hooked. I couldn’t get enough of the heavy beats, the rock guitars and soulful singing.
I’ve also gotten some of their older records and while they’re not as strong, there are still lots of good songs, with all of the same great elements.
Now these guys are everywhere–commercials and even pop radio. And since they’ve been at this for years, I’m happy to see them be so successful for making such good art.
Last year Brothers was iTunes’ #1 record and with good reason–it was written well, played well and it sounds good.
You should really check them out!