Home Album Reviews SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: THE BLACK KEYS – LET’S ROCK

SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: THE BLACK KEYS – LET’S ROCK

by Stan Rastogi
The Black Keys

The Black Keys 
Let’s Rock 
Nonesuch Records

Respected, loved, and downright heralded, The Black Keys have won over most of the music industry with a riveting career that dominated the early 2010s. Released on the cusp of the latter half of 2019, Let’s Rock is the bitter reminder that it may well be time to move onward, and half the industry appears to continue living in denial.

Let’s Rock, indeed, being the first release from the duo in five years since the critically acclaimed and iconic record, Turn Blue. As the need for a well-deserved break made itself clear with their biggest album yet, Auerbach and Carney took a five-year hiatus to be broken with the self-professed “homage to electric guitar” that is Let’s Rock. Pained as I am to do this, I beg to differ.

Admittedly, the riffs are the redeeming point if the album has one; no one can deny that the two are experts when it comes to their instruments, and the blues roots provide just the edge to make album playable, even put on repeat a few times. However, hardly any other aspects of the record incite the praise or excitement that usually accompanied a release by the iconic duo. Each of the 12 tracks regurgitates the structure that most “pop-rock” today resorts to, one that is just safe and pleasant enough. Listening to Let’s Rock at a stretch likens to turning on a rock radio channel today and feeling like everything sounds the same, and that’s because it does. Unoriginal stops being a neutral remark when the extent of how tiring it feels begins to kick in. Let’s just say, there’s a reason no one listens to rock radio stations anymore.

The lyrics have been referred to as functional and purposive, but seem to veer closer to blandly uninspired. Yes, perhaps the audience relates to them when they hear them, but the odds are against a single line remaining memorable for longer than a minute. The layers in each track add up to a whole less than the sum of their parts, as there appears a general lack of having much to add.

Having given Let’s Rock a good hard listen, a bigger question begs to be answered: where is the general consensus of appreciation headed? Are we so thirsted of reminiscent music today that a watered-down half of an attempt invites well-worded reviews and cheers of a void return to form? Or has music finally been saturated to the point of the inability to feel and produce a genuine response to anything?
https:/Having given Let’s Rock a good hard listen, a bigger question begs to be answered: where is the general consensus of appreciation headed? Are we so thirsted of reminiscent music today that a watered-down half of an attempt invites well-worded reviews and cheers of a void return to form? Or has music finally been saturated to the point of the inability to feel and produce a genuine response to anything?



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