#4 - THE BLACK KEYS: "Turn Blue"
One of life's greatest musical mysteries is why critically acclaimed producers need to occasionally turn to outside help for production on their musical projects. Walter Becker never produced Steely Dan records, yet his production of other artists is spot on. Such is the case with the latest installment from The Black Keys. Fronted by Dan Auerbach has received a healthy dose of praise for his work with a plethora of recording artists, including Jessica Lea Mayfield, Ray LaMontagne, Dr. John, Lana Del Rey, among many others. Simply put, the man is one of the most in-demand producers of the last 5 years. So, why did he and fellow Black Key, Patrick Carney turn to Danger Mouse for production help on this album? Is it because an artist is too comfortable with himself and he needs the perspective from an outside ear? I can only assume that's the case. Either way, I'm glad that is what they did.
A producer can make or break an album. I will ofttimes purchase an album based solely on the fact it was produced by someone I respect. Trevor Horn could successfully polish a turd, if he had been designated with the task. I'm always happy to see Dan Auerbach's name listed on an album. Danger Mouse ALSO happens to be a producer that, if I see his name credited, I will usually make it a point to investigate the music within.
With this album, one can sense the presence of Danger Mouse, who has successfully added layers of sound to the familiar guitar/drums sound of The Black Keys. While the band is evolving into...well... a band... they still remain faithful to the sound that made them the darlings of the 21st Century Indie music scene for so many years. If there is one album I would cite as my favorite of theirs, it would be this. I'm sure long time fans would be critical of it, citing that they "sold out" when the band signed to Warner Brothers, or the fact that they allowed a producer like Danger Mouse to influence their otherwise raw sound. It's a good thing I don't give a hairy rat's behind about that kind of stuff. I love this album... I love it with a Number 4 kind of love... and that's not about to change.
The Official Audio of "Weight of Love"... my personal favorite from the album.
"Fever" (Official Audio)