11 January 2009

Best Albums of '08: The Black Keys - Attack & Release

I'm only going to do a couple of more "Best of" reviews, and this will be the only one of a band the I do truly love, and have for several years. It's ironic that, as an aspiring bassist, two of my favorite bands are bassless. The other is the White Stripes. (I hear bass lines on this album, but it may be a guitar through an octaver, though Auerbach has recorded with bass before.) Both bands play (or used to play, with the Stripes) stripped-down garage rock blues. One reviewer says, "If Jimi Hendrix had been a white guy from Akron who frequented hipster dive bars, he might have made music like this." Whatever, I like 'em. And Robert Plant likes them, which gives them amazing cred in my book. But I'm not sure this is their best album. I like the early stuff self-recorded in a basement on a Tascam 8-track better. This album is produced by Danger Mouse and sounds a lot slicker, at least by their lo-fi standards. But I'm glad they're getting critical recognition. Warning: My one and only regular reader probably won't like this all that much (sorry, dear).

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