Reviews

The Black Keys Kiss and Make Up in “Go”

“All you have to do, to end this, right now, is talk.”

It’s hard to believe that The Black Keys have been on hiatus and away from us for five whole years.

Their music, no matter how old, is still ubiquitous, mostly because good, old fashioned blues-rock will never not be good—also because The Black Keys, in particular, are really good at what they do.

Their latest single, “Go” off of their hotly anticipated comeback album, Let’s Rock, is no exception.

Now entering their forties, The Black Keys know what they’re good at and aren’t just comfortable with their niche, but revel in it.


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In the interest of transparency, “Go” doesn’t quite grab you the same way that songs like “Howlin’ for You” or “Lonely Boy” do, but maybe it’s foolish to expect this band to bite the same way they did almost a decade prior. It’s not even that the song is bad, or that the band is declining in quality—it’s just that pure excellence is what we’ve come to expect from The Black Keys.

“Go” is a perfectly fine song, with a sound that is so undeniably signature, so acutely honed, that it actually makes sense why this comes off as a little boring. The Black Keys are just that good at, well, being The Black Keys. So much so that it’s a little too predictable.

But it’s still good. And, undoubtedly, after a few listens (which you won’t be able to avoid, as the song is very radio friendly) you’ll find yourself singing along.

And while the single itself is nothing too special, the music video is a pretty clever piece of comedy.

Opening on Dan Auerbach (vocals/guitar) and Patrick Carney (drums) on what appears to be a couples therapy session, it’s revealed that the duo’s five-year hiatus was actually due to a mutual hatred of each other. Unfortunately for them, their label, Warner Brothers, isn’t interested in their petty feud, and has decided enough is enough—they need to escalate the therapy and send, quote, “The Black Keys, America’s Sweethearts,” to Happy Trails Intentional Community & Spiritual Retreat.

It’s unclear what makes this video so funny. It could be the soft, hippie vibes of the “spiritual retreat” visuals juxtaposed against the down-and-dirty blues-rock song. It could be the fact that Auerbach and Carney really do seem to hate each other, in the way that only primadonna rockstars could. It could be that despite everything, the two never speak to each other once in the whole video. It could be a combination of all those things.

The video is supremely re-watchable, almost more so than the song is re-playable (and that’s saying something).

(Even if “comedy” is the expected route for this band to go, a funny music video will always be infinitely more interesting than any brooding piece of “art.” Fight us on this.)

No matter what, though, The Black Keys are back, and that’s cause for celebration.

Featured Image: Warner Brothers Records/Nonesuch Records 

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