NPR logo First Listen: The Black Keys, 'Brothers'

First Listen: The Black Keys, 'Brothers'

Audio for this feature is no longer available. The album was released on May 18, 2010.

The Black Keys. John Peets hide caption

toggle caption
John Peets

There's no shortage of bluesy rock records, and I sure didn't think I needed to rush out and hear another one — that is, until I heard The Black Keys' new album, Brothers. Packed with great songs and devoid of throwaways, Brothers is the sixth album by the duo of singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney.

Like its predecessors, Brothers is remarkably, consistently strong stuff, though this one feels a bit tamer, with more of an R&B influence. The album was recorded mostly in a studio dripping with the sounds of Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and The Rolling Stones (circa Sticky Fingers), and even finds The Black Keys covering soul singer Jerry Butler.

Exceptionally well-produced by Auerbach and Carney themselves — though "Tighten Up" is produced by Danger MouseBrothers was mixed by Tchad Blake, a genius in making sounds pop from the speakers while giving definition to the playing.

If you're a Black Keys fan, what do you think of Brothers? If you're a newcomer, are you hooked yet? Please leave your thoughts on the album in the comments section. Brothers will stream here in its entirety until its release on May 18.

NPR thanks our sponsors