Release Date: Sep 12, 2006
Record label: Nonesuch
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Akron's the Black Keys have jumped labels again with Magic Potion. Beginning on their own Alive label, the band established itself internationally with Thickfreakness and Rubber Factory. They appear now with their Nonesuch debut -- they share a label with everyone from Pat Metheny and Sam Phillips to Toumani Diabaté and Stephin Merritt. Fans needn't worry that the Black Keys being on a label distributed by Warner has done anything to their sound.
The Black Keys have alchemized two equally potent versions of retro rock. One pays homage to its inspiration – this year's Chulahoma: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough EP, Robert Pete Johnson's "Grown So Ugly," the Beatles' "She Said, She Said." The other cooks in the blues tradition, mixing sleight-of-hand rearrangements and borrowed roots. The Magic Potion of the Akron, Ohio, duo's fourth full-length is clearly the latter, disguising its 11 gut-wrenching, fuzzed-out tunes in various moonshine shades of Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, and Robert Johnson.