Turn Blue – The Black Keys

There’s something about the Black Keys that keeps people coming back to their music, whether it is their bluesy vocals or their raw garage rock instrumentation. On their eighth-studio and newest album, Turn Blue, the Black Keys show more psychedelic and soul influence. The Black Keys consist of the duo, Dan Auerbach, guitar and vocals, and Patrick Carney, drums. Even with different sounds and influences in Turn Blue, there is still elements of the classic blues-rock sound of the Black Keys. Much of the song-writing revolved around Auerbach’s messy and highly publicized divorce, giving the album a much more moodier tone to it.

Lyrically, Turn Blue varies between simplistic story telling, such as in the track, “Fever,” and a narrative about heartbreak, especially in the nearly seven minute long opener, “Weight of Love.” However, this variety and sort of accessibility gives these tracks a fresh feel to them. The lyrical shift from record to record for the Black Keys is dramatic undoubtedly because of the emotional impact on Auerbach after his divorce in 2013. The lyrics are straightforward and Auerbach delivers these with the same vocals he has in virtually all of the Black Keys’ previous albums.

With a take on a more soulful sound while sticking to their typical blues rock tone. The coexistence of the Auerbach’s guitar and Carney’s drumming blends together fluidly as much as the Black Keys’ previous releases. The guitar riffs are  smart and fluid and Auerbach has developed a style that unique to him. Carney’s understanding drumming meets the guitar with shifting tempos and beats that hard to beat. The bass lines on Turn Blue is one of the strongest elements to this album, giving it a much funkier sound than if it stood back behind the drums and guitar.

“Gotta Get Away” is a bold finish to this slow album but with this upbeat song, it seems to remind listeners that although Turn Blue is a drastic step away from the old Black Keys, they still have what drew them in in the first place.

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