The Black Keys - 'Let’s Rock'
4.5Overall Score

The Black Keys new album, Let’s Rock, has finally been released. After a long five years since their last album, Turn Blue, was released, fans will not be disappointed with a back-to-basics, straightforward, Black Keys hit.  

The ninth album was born in their very own, Easy Eye Sound studio, and raised by the midwestern rock and roll that brought us all our favourite hits from Auerbach and Carney. While the long wait for some new tracks might have been an issue for the fans, the band have commented on the much-needed and credited the time out as a positive effect on their ability to co-produce Let’s Rock. 

The album title itself might seem an odd choice for the Black Keys but it was actually inspired from a news story they heard whilst recording in their studio. Darkly, “let’s rock” were the last words from the first person in eleven years to die from the electric chair in Tennessee; hence the electric chair on the album artwork. 

Somewhat surprisingly, this wasn’t the only part death played in the creation of Let’s Rock. The recently passed Glen Schwartz’s had an impact the outcome of the album. Having first met the bad during an impromptu jam at Coachella Festival with Joe Walsh and The Arcs, featuring Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, the band collaborated with him shortly before his passing which inspired Auerbach; they were reminded of the primitivism, minimalist, no-frills attitude, that made their early albums so solid, “this rock and roll got in my blood.”

As for the tracks on this album, with every song being a classic Black Keys hit it’s hard to pick any favourites. There’s no trying impress anyone, this album is about the Black Keys making music together and for themselves; which is refreshing to hear. You have the juxtaposition of riffs, choruses, versus and interludes that keep you on your toes, with the lyrics leaving you with a haunting feeling that you’re being warned.

‘Shine a Little Light’ kicks off the track-list; smooth guitar riffs and solos, strong drum beats and catchy lyrics, you know you’re listening to the Black Keys. ‘Lo/Hi’, ‘Walk Across the Water’ and ‘Tell Me Lies follow’; all have potential to be top-hits to lead the album through the charts. True rock and roll vibes, similar to Hendricks and Prince, with a dash of Beatles’ eccentric, playfulness. Moving further down the trackless ‘Sit Around and ‘Miss You’, ‘Go’ and ‘Breaking Down’ caught my attention. These three feel a bit more funky; filled with surprises and unexpected twists and turns. Exactly what you want from rock and roll tracks. 

Every song started from a live take and this rawness is what makes the album a hit. Auerbach and Carney compliment each other, Auerbach said “when we’re together, we are the black Keys, that’s where the real magic is”, and I couldn’t agree more. Whether you’re long-term fan or new to the band, give Let’s Rock a listen and I promise you, you will not be disappointed.

The Black Keys Tour Dates
Sep 21 – Las Vegas, NV – Life Is Beautiful +
Sep 23 – Denver, CO – Pepsi Center*
Sep 24 – Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center*
Sep 25 – St. Louis, MO – Enterprise Center*
Sep 27 – Chicago, IL – United Center*
Sep 28 – Minneapolis, MN – Target Center*
Sep 30 – Cleveland, OH – Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse*
Oct 01 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena*
Oct 02 – Columbus, OH – Nationwide Arena*
Oct 04 – Milwaukee, WI – Fiserv Forum #
Oct 05 – Detroit, MI – Little Caesars Arena #
Oct 07 – Pittsburgh, PA – PPG Paints Arena #
Oct 08 – Grand Rapids, MI – Van Andel Arena #
Oct 09 – Toronto, ON – Scotiabank Arena #
Oct 11 – Boston, MA – TD Garden #
Oct 12 – Washington, DC – The Anthem #
Oct 14 – Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Arena #
Oct 15 – Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center #
Oct 16 – Washington, DC – The Anthem %
Nov 05 – Sunrise, FL – BB&T Center ^
Nov 06 – Orlando, FL – Amway Center ^
Nov 08 – Raleigh, NC – PNC Arena ^
Nov 09 – Atlanta, GA – State Farm Arena ^
Nov 12 – Houston, TX – Toyota Center ^
Nov 13 – Austin, TX – Frank Erwin Center ^
Nov 14 – Fort Worth, TX – Dickies Arena ^
Nov 16 – Phoenix, AZ – Talking Stick Resort Arena ^
Nov 17 – San Diego, CA – Pechanga Arena ^
Nov 19 – Los Angeles, CA – The Forum ^
Nov 20 – San Francisco, CA – Chase Center ^
Nov 22 – Portland, OR – Moda Center ^
Nov 23 – Tacoma, WA – Tacoma Dome ^
Nov 24 – Vancouver, BC – Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena

^Festival Date
w/ Modest Mouse and *repeat repeat
w/ Modest Mouse and Jessy Wilson
^ w/ Modest Mouse and Shannon & the Clams
% w/ Modest Mouse and Jimmy & Holmes

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