'A more adult, bluesy, dirty and much darker brand of garage rock'
Chloe Ravat

10:01 12th May 2014

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The Black Keys' musical evolution continues with their eighth studio album, Turn Blue. The follow up to 2011's El Camino moves away from the 60s and 70s inspired rock 'n' roll vibes towards a more adult, bluesy, dirty and much darker brand of garage rock.

As a complete bundle of work guided by the hand of producer Danger Mouse, Turn Blue is a mix of all kinds of musicality, showcasing aspects of the duo that all bear as much weight, depth and accomplishment as the next. An album of two uneven halves; the distinctions between songs like 'Fever' and 'Gotta Get Away' when juxtaposed with songs of 'Bullet in the Brain' and 'Year in Review's' grumpy melancholia are stark.

There was most definitely a shift in the mood of the album when the duo began their second round of sessions at the Sunset Sound studio in California after completing 'Fever', 'Gotta Get Away' and 'It's Up To You' in Michigan. No doubt the finalisation of Auerbach's divorce had a hand in lending the remaining songs their angst and sadness, but it seems the band also let themselves be freer in the kind of music they chose to record this time around - quite literally. Often songs you think you have pegged in the first minute or so, turn out to be something completely different by the time the outro rolls around. It's a refreshing quality for an album to have in today’s age of popular music that can sometimes sound rather samey and predictable.

Standout tracks include '10 Lovers', possibly the most commercial-sounding song on the album, but enjoyable and soulful nonetheless, the eponymous 'Turn Blue' which manages to be sexy and sad simultaneously, lead single 'Fever' which gives a nod to the up-tempo rock and roll tracks of Black Keys albums gone by, as does 'Gotta Get Away' – a fun, Stones-esque retro tune, perfect for arena sing-a-longs, ending the album on an unapologetically frivolous high.

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