First Listen

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; photo by John Peets

The Black Keys. John Peets hide caption

itoggle 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.

First Listen