Capsule Review: Attack and Release (The Black Keys)

Written by


April 8, 2008

9:25 AM

There’s a whole lot about the blues that’s slow, alright ­— but that doesn’t mean the blues should be boring. The Black Keys’ latest release, “Attack and Release,” manages just that, however, gracefully slapping together some of the most tapped-out, boring blues-rock sounds you could ask for.

p. A shining example of such boring slowness is the song “Same Old Thing.” Boring-as-hell name aside, the track produces nothing more than the formulaic approach you’ll find rampant throughout the album — almost-gutsy electric blues a la Clapton and the Rolling Stones, overlaid by the repetitive, aimless coos of vocalist Dan Auerbach.

p. Then there’s either some fat organ chords or a half-assed guitar solo to fill in the blanks — or both, with tracks like “All You Ever Wanted”.

p. Sure, the album is peppered with jazzy woodwind vibes and Patrick Carney’s punchy, never-tasteless drumming; the duo obviously took the time to add a little spice. And there are some nice moments — whether it’s Auerbach’s moody, colorful lyrics (“Flap my wings, oh yeah / and set your heart to fly”), or the raunchy, Led Zeppelin-grind of his electric.

p. It’s like the duo never settled on one musical direction, instead sputtering out on a sappy mix of blues throwbacks and indie-rock sensibilities. Maybe that’s the risk you take when you employ a producer as ambitious as Danger Mouse alongside innovation busters like Aurbach and Carney.

p. At the end of the day, “Attack and Release” is an all-around snoozer. Spend your money on something worthwhile. Like a cheeseburger.

Share This Article

Related News

Tribe Square evicts The Crust leaving ground floor empty
As gubernatorial primary nears, students get out the vote
College mourns death of online MBA student, Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken

About Author

The Flat Hat
  • The Flat Hat