Do The Black Keys deserve “priciest rock duo” status? 

click to enlarge The Black Keys, Let’s Rock
  • The Black Keys, Let’s Rock

Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have been demanding steep ticket prices at the Pepsi Center and elsewhere since The Black Keys broke a five-year hiatus with the new release Let’s Rock (Easy Eye Sound/Nonesuch).

Fans say the 12 three-minute songs highlight the duo’s best tendencies of their nearly 20 years. Skeptics retort that Auerbach and Carney are getting formulaic, though that is often when a band commands its highest arena prices.

Both sides make legitimate points, but it’s hard to imagine this album making 2019’s Top 10.

The smooth, slower sounds of the opening track, “Shine a Little Light,” and others like “Tell Me Lies” prove the duo is not standing still. In fact, they almost resemble Buckingham/Nicks-era Fleetwood Mac at times. But the higher-tempo songs owe too much to earlier Black Keys albums like El Camino or Attack and Release.

Those who say that repetition is one of a duo’s limits need only remember how Jack and Meg White stayed fresh through the final White Stripes album.

This album sports plenty of potential fan favorites, though Black Keys may be hovering close to delusions of grandeur.


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