The Black Keys - Brothers
Second of three Top 10 bands that I didn't see live this year. Never really listened to the Black Keys much until this year. There's a plethora of "Black" bands out there. Black Mountain, the Black Kids, the Black Lips, the Black Angels... I think in my head I've always just sort of lumped them all in with one another.
When you subscribe to a bunch of music blogs through a reader (like Google Reader), you tend to see the same stuff posted quite a bit. When I saw the video for "Tighten Up" posted a bunch of times, I finally watched it and listened to the song. So I streamed the album and found out that I really liked it. A few more listens and I was in love. Maybe because it's so different than everything else I listen to. There's not a lot of blues/soul music in my collection. The fact that two white guys from Akron do it so well is pretty unique.
I really like the way this album is paced. It eases the listener in with "Everlasting Light", then pounds away with "Next Girl", "Tighten Up", "Howlin' For You", and "Long Gone" before descending into emotional noise on "Black Mud". From there on out, it's a roller coaster peaking with "the Only One", "Sinister Kid", and "Unknown Brother" before slowing cruising through the finishing "These Days". This is an album as equally appealing when played as background music as it is when blasted from a car stereo. It really makes me want to dig into their back catalog.
And they do make really great videos.