From the incessant opening bounce of their bona fide hit “Lonely Boy” to the side-swapper “Little Black Submarine” and “Mind Eraser” to close, the mould has been recast.  Gone are the rattling, fuzzed out riffs and unhinged drum crashes.  Produced alongside studio-master Danger Mouse (who also produced 2008’s Attack & Release), the minds combined have allowed them to unearth the tender, time-honoured approach to piecing together an album by design.

‘Keys diehards may well bemoan the loss of their secret but they need not fret.  Auerbach’s guitars (both 6 and 4 string) combine with the reigned in ferocity of Carney’s thundering flails will always be something great.  Melodies have become the order of the day, only resting back to the grunting beats for timely impact.  Here in the now, it’s just slightly shinier.  Is it restrained?  Kind of.  Has it been over tightened?  Not quite, but the ghost of George Best is looming through the second half lull.

The Black Keys deserve their time in the sun.  If it’s all too much, what is fucking wrong with you?

– Ciarán Wilcox

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