CD REVIEW: The Black Keys "Brothers"

Brothers (Amazon MP3 Exclusive Version) [+digital booklet]
From obscurity to the center of it all, this year the Black Keys have become the "it" guys for blues rock. Taking over the slot once filled by the White Stripes, it seems that dirty bluesy rhythms, crunchy guitars, and straightforward stripped down syncopated drum beats are all any one needs to get by. They will make an appearance on SNL in the new year and they have been prominently featured in Cadillac car ads, so it's a definite thing that they have been or will be part of your life. The first five songs on the album drag you in and rock your world. "Tighten Up" has been all over radio and shows off the rock edge of the band, with emphasis on Dan Auerbach's mad guitar skills. "Howlin' For You" might be the bands best ever, with a killer hook, catchy lyrics, and great beat (not to mention the fact that it's everywhere on TV). "She's Long Gone" and "Next Girl" feature some of the guys' most clever lyrics to date. Who knew that two guys could make so much noise and make it sound so beautiful.