Larry Fitzmaurice reviews the Black Keys’ eighth album, Turn Blue. (via pitchfork)
this Fitzmaurice review is great. i tweeted something like, “the thing that gets me riled up about ‘Fork reviews/makes me jealous of their writing: its ALSO social commentary w/o a comments section”
i don’t know why it took me so long to find that reasoning but here it is.
a social commentary! of course.
all ‘Fork writers do it, some better than others, some more forward than others. but of course we’re going to do it HERE.
how could we NOT review The Black Keys and "The Black Keys" (as they are, an IDEA) when reviewing their, presumably shitty and over-done/whatever new record Turn Blue?
[note to reader, i am planning on listening to it because we can’t complain unless we’ve heard it ourselves. right? i mean, i’ve heard the single(s) enough time on FM radio and, it’s already, enough already.]
that being said,
there are so many good lines in this review.
shade is thrown at: (1) JACK WHITE (calling him P.T. Barnum - which is fucking hilarious and genius),
(a) "the Black Keys emerged as the most popular guys making music that sounds like older music without getting all P.T. Barnum about it."
(2) Danger Mouse - which is very true,
(a) “It’s tempting once again to blame the dullness on Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton, a sometimes-capable producer whose reputation in recent years has carried the weight of an “Out of Order” sign on a bathroom door.”
(b) “his love for airlock-hatch atmospherics and stiff string-section motifs are intact,…”
(3) the Black Keys themselves (how we know they can do better, how they covered the Beatles on their first record - honestly the only Beatles cover that matters, how they’ve sold out, how their songs just aren’t as good anymore…am i missing anything?)
(a) "After a decade-plus of pilfering musical history with all the subtlety of a brick through a windshield"
(b) “El Camino was the best ZZ Top album that you can’t stream on Spotify”
(4) Dan Auerbach’s taste/mistreatment/evolution/whatever relationship with women
(a) “Lyrically, the Black Keys’ casual chauvinism has gone from “Girl, you look so good” to “Woman, you done me wrong,”“
(b) "and wondering where all the "good women" have gone in typical dirtbag fashion"
i’m sure i’m missing something here but you get it.
i spent a lot of time (i still do?) complaining about music writing online or at least commenting on it. it supports the absolutely 100% true fact that music writers write for music writers. while i do write about music, i am not in the same league as actual music writers.
but, i think, the point here is that the ‘Fork has found its meaning for me.
a) it really doesn’t mean anything because it’s just a review and you can have your own opinion about it,
b) why are we worrying about numbers,
c) it’s brilliant social commentary that we will always have, like a catalog of news: here’s the music and here’s what we were all thinking.
ok - maybe ALL of it isn’t what we’re all thinking. (i think Merrill Garbus’ new tUnE-yArDs record deserved Best New Music, but that’s just me)
but i do think THIS TIME, with The Black Keys and The Black Keys (again, the IDEA of them…) they’re right.