The Black Keys – Magic Potion

Black KeysIn my view the Black Keys have always suffered unfair comparisons with the White Stripes. The fact they’re a two piece guitar/drums combo that play ragged electric blues probably have most people dismissing them as riding the Stripes coat-tails. Their debut thickfreakness was released in 2002, a year after the White Stripes breakthrough album “White Blood Cells”. But if anything the Black Keys have stayed true to their blues roots, whilst the White Stripes have moved into more esoteric territory. Magic Potion is the Keys’ first album on the Nonesuch record label (a label owned by Warner Brothers, home to Wilco), and probably carries some weight of expectation.

People worried that the Keys have lost their blues edge shouldn’t worry, their ragged, stripped down sound is still there. “Just Got To Be” has a spindly riff and sparse production; it’s all very minimal and direct. “Just A Little Heat” and “Goodbye Babylon” follow that vein. But it’s not all the same, “Strange Desire” has a seductive, psychadelic riff that really stuck in my mind. “You’re The One” has a lovely, 60’s pop vibe that’s a break from the norm too.

“Black Door” has just a great, whammy bar electric guitar sound that I just love, and “Your Touch” is just such a soulful song. Magic Potion has a really good range of songs, but like all good albums, it’s one cohesive album. It’s good to see a band like the Black Keys get better with each album they release, rather than simply tread water after their break through album:

The Black Keys – Your Touch

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