Monday, October 16, 2006

The Black Keys - Magic Potion (Nonesuch, 2006)

The Black Keys are one of my favorite rock and roll bands with their garage band minimalism tempered by touches of blues and psychedelia. But I was a little surprised when the band signed to the eclectic Nonesuch label and wondered how this would affect their sound. Well, I needn't wonder at all as this album was literally recorded in a band member's basement and keeps the same raw and exciting sound as the bands previous work. Most of the songs are kept short and sweet with blistering blues based guitar and basic drumming giving way to melodic hooks like in "Your Touch" which is very catchy and has elements of pop without compromising their rough and tumble sound.

"You're the One" slows things down to a ballad tempo with a gauzy, slightly trippy love song that plays against the bands stereotype. "Just a Little Heat" and "Give Your Heart Away" find the band hopping back on the boogie train, while the bluesy wail of "Strange Desire" goes back to the bands roots and shows the groups knows its strength and plays to it admirably as they do with the blasting "Modern Times" and the lengthy workout "Goodbye Babylon." Anyone interested in unadorned rock and roll will find much to enjoy here.

Send comments to: Tim