Turn Blue, the highly anticipated eighth release from The Black Keys is a wonderful album from a band that continues to evolve while staying true to what made them popular in the first place. It is a departure from previous material, but upon multiple listenings you realize that they are still the band you had on repeat for most of 2012. They haven’t changed their sound as much as added layers and new dimensions to their signature sound. Turn Blue is an album that will make you think, reflect on past loves and look forward to the next stage for The Black Keys musically.
Dan Auerbach, guitarist and singer has gone through a divorce and the lyrics reflect that emotional upheaval. Turn Blue is not an upbeat party album, is not it is not an album of singles, and it is not a continuation or follow-up to El Camino is there a song on the album that I can imagine hearing in a concert arena? No, however, not every album is or even should be geared toward mega-singles and sold out tours. It is a cohesive piece where the tracks build on one another and flow seamlessly from one to the next.
For me, the stand out tracks are “Bullet in the Brain” a catchy tune with lyrics that are raw, bittersweet and at times painful. “In Our Prime” is a bit bluesy yet the lyrics punch you with the pain of the end of a marriage. “Gotta Get Away” musically is upbeat, but the lyrics are forlorn and isolated. The ending of a marriage is encapsulated in “Weight of Love”.
Turn Blue is a wonderful example of an album from a band that continues to grow while staying true to what made them popular in the first place. Few bands continue to evolve and yet keep the basic sound of what made them so popular. It is an album that will keep long-time fans around as well as garner new ones.