The Black Keys: Turn Blue – polished and commercial, but never craven or compromised
For all its musical diversity, Turn Blue never sounds incoherent. That’s partly because the songs are drawn together by the album’s ongoing lyrical preoccupations: perhaps understandably, given that it was written in the wake of Auerbach’s messy divorce, there are enough recriminatory warnings about the vagaries of romance here to last a lifetime. But it’s mostly because Turn Blue never stops sounding like the Black Keys. However the songs are embellished, however radio-friendly the choruses or stadium-sized the dynamics, the tight-knit relationship between Auerbach’s guitar and Carney’s breakbeat-heavy drumming is always at their centre. The result is polished and commercial, without feeling craven or compromised, an impressive stunt to pull off.