B stands for the Black Keys’ incredible album Brothers.
The Black Keys spent the first 10 years of the new millennium releasing six critically acclaimed blues albums and sounding like they came straight from 1960’s America. They acquired a pretty sizeable niche fan-base and reached underground fame that was definitely not to be sniffed at, but something was wrong. They never quite made it to the mainstream, seemingly always overshadowed by the world’s favourite modern blues duo – the White Stripes. This was, of course, before Brothers came along, and catapulted them towards the world-beating, festival-headlining status they have today.
Like their previous albums, Brothers sounds like it’s from the sixties yet still clearly resonates as a Black Keys album, but it has something their previous efforts didn’t; mainstream appeal, accessibility and (for lack of better word) downright funkiness.
This is in no way meant to take away the quality of their early albums, but simply to emphasise the quality of this one. Howlin’ For You sounds like a modern Howling Wolf song, with its vintage riff and swaggering vocals, and Tighten Up’s chirpy, whistled intro makes it near-impossible to not smile. Brothers may not be the most consistent album (it certainly lulls in quality toward the end) but at least it is a fun one, and it is a definite must-have for any indie fan.
Songs to Check Out: Tighten Up, Everlasting Light, Howlin’ for You