Album Review: The Black Keys release 10th anniversary album


by Erica Blockinger, Editor

“These days” are getting a lot better because The Black Keys anniversary album was released, and it’s certainly “The Only One” I’ve been thinking about. 

The Black Keys are a well known alternative rock/indie band that released their first album The Big Come Up, in 2002, but their most well known and highest rated album is Brothers. Originally released in May 2010, this album included 15 tracks. For its special 10th year anniversary, the band has released a deluxe remastered album at the end of 2020, now including 18 tracks. 

This iconic album won awards at the 53rd Grammy Awards in three of the five categories they were nominated in; the band received honors for Best Alternative Music Album (for Brothers) and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal (for “Tighten Up”), while Michael Carney, the band’s creative director, won Best Recording Package for designing the album’s artwork. 

So to celebrate the anniversary of the band’s Grammy winning and Billboard charting album, It’s time to look back and review the group’s greatest songs off the album. 

The most top rated and my personal favorite off the album, “Tighten Up” when released spent 10 weeks at number on the Alternative songs Billboard chart, and peaked 87 on the Billboard hot 100 list. But it’s no wonder why, this song’s upbeat and easy going melody can make anyone fall in love with this song while listening to it. With the guitar riffs and general beat, everything about this song is simply perfect. Even down to the lyrics, this song really does have it all: “Living just to keep going, going just to be sane, all the while live knowing, such a shame, I don’t need to get steady, I know just how I feel, telling you to be ready, my dear.” This still proves to be a fan favorite, that in less than a month, the new remastered version acquired over 160,000,000 streams on Spotify. 

But if those awards did not impress you, “Tighten Up” reached gold certification status, and it was certified double- platinum in Canada, platinum in the US, and gold in the UK. This song truly made Brothers the hit that it was. 

“Howlin’ for You,” is another favorite, with over 266,203,045 streams on Spotify. The fourth song to come off the album was nominated for MTV’s Video Music Award For Best Rock Video, but unfortunately didn’t win. But that doesn’t stop the song from being featured in so many video games, and movies. 

You might have even heard it at one point and didn’t even realize that it was it. “Howlin for You” has been in the soundtrack for many EA sports games including , NHL 11, NHL Slapshot,  and Need for Speed Payback. It’s also been featured in films such as The Dilemma, Limitless, The Guilt Trip, Moneyball, Dark Shadows, Citizen Gangster, and Deadpool. The list goes on and on for what it has been featured in with TV shows and commercials. But it’s not a surprise as to why it’s been featured in so much media. It’s mostly because the song’s drum track and guitar. The song is easy to get pumped up to, and the lyrics have anyone feeling like they’re on top of the world.

I must admit, I can’t explain, Any of these thoughts, Racing through my brain. It’s true, But baby I’m howlin’ for you, Alright.” 

The first track of the album, “Everlasting Light” takes the overall attitude of it onto a different turn. This song’s vibe is softer than the rest of the songs, off of the album you’d hear more harder rock songs and sharper vocals. Now this song isn’t as accomplished as the other two, but “Everlasting Light” still holds a special place in fans heart’s. Part of the reason is because the song simply isn’t like the rest, giving listeners a refresher while still enjoying the band. This song’s softer tune makes it the type to wind down for the day to listen to, but while still having the iconic drums like the other songs do. The song did make an appearance on the soundtrack of the NBA 2k15 game. 

“Chop and Change” like “Howlin’ for You,” can be most famously recognized from a movie. This song can be heard in Twilight: Eclipse. “Chop and Change” is another one of my personal favorites, that should be recognized more than just by being in this movie. The piano riffs work well with the overall attitude of the song, and really make the song complete. 

“Sinister Kid” peaking Number 3 on the Billboard top 200 when released, is a song that I can never get out of my head. This song has a super catchy track and easygoing beat that can make anyone fall in love with the song. “Sinister Kid” is a song that everyone should listen to at least once in their life. It truly is a song that fans of the band love to hear when at concerts. 

“Keep my name Outta your Mouth” is one of the new songs on the album. This track certainly holds true with the vibe of the other songs off of the album. The unreleased song reminds me a lot of “Ten Cent Pistol,” which also came off of the Brothers album. They both share a similar beat and similar tone of vocals. This song isn’t necessarily one of my favorites, but is still a good song. While listening to it, I felt like something was missing from it. Despite this, the song was still enjoyable to listen and jam out too. 

Even though Brothers is 10 years old, the music feels timeless. The songs off of this album is what alternative rock listeners yearn for in today’s music. The Black Keys bring a certain vibe with them in every song they write that stands the test of time. They continue to prove that by only having 14 shows in 2020 they earned the 31st spot on the Billboard chart for top tours. Beating in revenue and appearance, Luke Combs who had 21 shows, and even Lady Gaga. 

If you enjoy listening to bands like Arctic Monkeys, or The Strokes, you might want to try listening to The Black Keys and discover a new favorite.