The Top Albums of 2008 According to Chris: #1 – The Black Keys

Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, quite frankly, are the best touring rock band in all of rock-bandom these days.

Between Dan’s sucking on glass ’til his throat is raw vocals and Patrick’s insistence on beating the skins like they grabbed his little sister’s ass at a party, these two consistently put out some of the most powerful tunes intended to grab you by the boo boo, and this year’s Attack & Release was no different.

Composed with the idea that Ike Turner would play a major role on the CD, that version did not come to be, as Ike beat Tina to death (Best Headline of the Year? Probably.), and the boys took the journey themselves. They did, however, have the foresight to invite producer extraordinaire DangerMouse along for the ride, though, and the results are incredible. DM opted to add flourishes not heard on previous BK CDs, such as more female backing vocals and, believe it or not, actual keys. The result actually is a somewhat softer sound for the most part, though rockers like “Strange Times” and “I Got Mine” certainly wail as mercilessly as anything on the duo’s earlier albums.

Add to the mix that both guys did a boatload of side work as producers for everyone from Jessica Lea Mayfield to Royal Bangs PLUS their nearly non-stop touring and it’s hard to believe these two even have time to sleep, yet alone continually rock our socks off. Would now be a crazy time to mention that Dan has his own solo album scheduled to hit in early February of 09 and he’s touring it, too, a scant few days after finishing the latest on-going Keys tour? Yeah, I’ve already got my Keys tickets for when they come to Baltimore AND the Dan solo tickets when he hits the 9:30 less than a month later.

God damn, I love the Black Keys. In case you missed their last visit to the 9:30 Club, here are a couple of goodies from said show.

mp3: 10 AM Automatic (link expired)

mp3: Strange Times (link expired)

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