I Heart Funky White Boys

11 Aug

The latest offering, Brothers, from the Ohio-based duo The Black Keys, finds the boys on a steady path of evolution without sacrificing the sultry grit they established with their 2002 debut The Big Come Up. Progressing into friendly hooks while retaining a sound that intimates a dirty secret beneath—like tattoos under a Brooks Brothers suit—keeps them from being considered a sellout to pop culture.

Every track from the new album transports me to one of three realms: a smoky lounge with tattered oriental rugs and couches that have seen better days; a dark basement jam session; or a private room at a club with strong arms and a tight rump working a pole.

The Black Keys gained some notoriety through “I’ll Be Your Man,” off their debut album The Big Come Up, being chosen as the theme song to HBO’s “Hung”—a track that fits so perfectly with the show, one would think it was written after viewing the pilot. Their tracks have been featured in numerous films, TV shows, and video games and continue to be noticed by musical communities from rock to hip hop.

In 2009 they joined forces with the likes of Raekwon, ODB, Jim Jones, Mos Def, Q-Tip, Ludacris, singer Nicole Wray, to create a genre-bending and critically acclaimed album, Blackroc. The collaboration was overseen by Damon Dash—a huge fan of the The Black Keys—and the band is already in the studio creating round two.

This is sexy music for grownups, people.

I’ve personally requested that they cover “Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress)” by The Hollies, but I doubt they’ve heard my plea.

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