Monday, May 14, 2012

The Black Keys and why they suck

The Black Keys - two nerdy art school types who studied the human soul in music intensely in hopes of one day pretending that they possess soul in their own music. Everything in their music is lifeless and dull and made with a mathematical precision completely devoid of passion or the soul of those they try so hard to imitate.

Quick! Take a picture of me fixing my tie. Quick! Catch my beard before it quits my face because I suck too much ass. 

Even on their first few albums (which Black Keys fans will tell you are 'better' if you don't like their new stuff) you could hear the utter lack of any emotional depth. Recording in low-fi was merely a calculated move to sound soulful and passionate (like old blues records). Many fell for it and as soon as their popularity grew, in came the slick manufacturing of their albums and videos. They are marketers and publicists before they are blues musicians.

True story: I once said, "I like the blues" to someone and they wet their pants with glee.

"I love the blues! My favorite band is the Black Keys!"

This person was an accountant. Soullessness pervades that profession. The Black Keys would fit in well.

Truth is, I never liked them. I suppose they're good at making non-pop pop music but it still stinks like gangrene assholes to me. Maybe that's the problem. It's pop music dressed up as indie or underground or whatever white hipster intellectuals want to call it to get as close to African American roots music as they can without having to listen to it. It's pop music with fuzzy sounding guitars. It ain't special. It still has the emotional range and depth of a Britney Spears concert. I'm not saying all music has to be more than pop music, I'm just saying can't we all stop pretending that it isn't? Fuzzy guitars do not a good song make.

Fuck the Black Keys.

112 comments:

  1. Did someone give you a turban wedgie and got your panties in bunch today?

    Is your musical speed Justin Beiber, et al and the other nonsensical garbage that the record companies peddle to people such as yourself?

    Because this post sounds like a whiny petulant little child wrote it.

    Must suck to be such a "open" minded indvidual.

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    1. fuck, you're stupid. You say he doesn't have an open mind because of his opinion of a band? The Black Keys blow. Get over it. Cry about it. Tend your wounds and shut the fuck up.

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    2. Wow, you are a flaming moron. He is bashing the Black Keys for being pop music, and you are asking if he like Bieber?!? Dude, THAT"S POP MUSIC! The Black Keys suck ass. They are the same bland faux rock douche pop that mediocre bands like Oasis have been trying to popularize since the mid 90's. They always find some small following with people that want to be able to say they listen to music like hard rock, blues, alternative, or grunge without actually LISTENING to those genres. This is not blues. This is not rock music. This is two scrawny little douche bags banging out crappy, formulaic music to earn a buck.

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    3. I don't believe either one of you two that are replying are actually musicians...I live in Nashville and I play in Nashville. The Black Keys are musicians through and through and they have a lot of people who say so to that fact. They follow the blues progression for the most part in their music and they sound a shit ton like blues to me. Music is subjective. Its unfortunate that some people make uneducated opinions on sites like these.

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    4. please clarify:
      what is an educated opinion?

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    5. The black keys have said they aren't blues. They play what they like. The only reason people think they are is cuz dick heads like you stereotype them into that genre.

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    6. So easy to namedrop Justin Bieber, eh?

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    7. I am a musician and music enthusiast. I taught myself blues and have played blues bass in a band for the past 2 or 3 years. Recently I've been evolving into a jazz musician. I also write my own music and play a variety of other instruments. So after that little expository, lets get relevant. The Black Keys are a blues-inspired pop band. It is difficult to classify them in a genre but that's how I think of them. They will probably be known in music history in the centuries to come because of their popularity. I personally despise their sound, though. I think it's very basic and lacks soul. THEY AREN'T AS BAD AS PEOPLE ARE SAYING, THOUGH. I just find myself hating them more when people obsess over them because they really aren't that good. Theres a mofuckin educated opinion.

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    8. The guy who defends TBK by starting out saying he's a Nashville musician totally lost credibility from the get-go. Why? Because country music has always been similar to highly produced and "perfected" pop music. But more so. You belong to a music factory, dude. And, currently, that music factory is pumping out music that sounds like 80's rock. Carrie Underwood's music sounds like Pat Benatar with a little bit of banjo and fiddle. I bought TBK's El Camino last summer and I simply couldn't get into it because of the reasons that are outlined in this article. Yet here we are, witnessing the coronation of the Grammy-winning album of the year" El Camino and producer of the year Dan Auerbach. This from the organization that has a history of making stupid choices and overlooking artists such as Led Zeppelin and Bob Marley. I will give El Camino one more listen, but I have a feeling it's not going to help. I agree with this article. "Fuzzy guitars do not a good song make." I'd rather listen to my vacuum cleaner.

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    9. The Black Keys make my stomach turn. Thanks for the article. I'm not saying they are lacking ability to play their respective instrument. But they recycle a lot of other music and add hollow lyrics. "Tighten up" sounds like a hauntingly upbeat watered down version of The Greenhornes "There is an End". "Little Black Submarine" is a shortened shitty rendition of "Stairway to Heaven".
      "Howling for You" sounds like a baseball teams shit anthem. Same goes for "Gold on the Ceiling". They sound like a mashup of a lot of other good, IMHO better, bands.

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    10. the black keys aers souless uninspired and derivative.

      blues god Buddy guy has been releasing masterpeices and never gets the press these ppretentious poseurs get. check out sweet tea or living proof cd by buddy guy . The " " keys? hardly

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    11. this article is like a sin

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    12. "It's pop music dressed up as indie or underground or whatever white hipster intellectuals want to call it to get as close to African American roots music as they can without having to listen to it." - so true!

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    13. i just heard a radio station saying something about a dispute between the black keys and jack white. i got curious since i'm not familiar with the black keys. i tried to listen to their tracks. They sound so boring, simple, and no emotion to their music- just like the article says.

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    14. They suck. Deal with it hipster.

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    15. I agree, they have a few decent songs, but mostly they suck, they sold out, attack and release was good, brothers good, any thing else is terrible especially their new stuff, dont fall for it. Lengths off of rubber factory, these days, strange times, never gonna give you up are the only good black keys songs, new stuff is poppy junk. garbage, thank you for writing this

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    16. I agree that The Black Keys have no depth and are just plain boring, but that's something you can't argue. The same as you can't agrue that chocolate tases good, because everyone perceives things differently. What gets me about TBK is that their fans claim they're hipster and underground. But you're not an unknown underground artist once you win a Grammy. and to those who will argue that winning a Grammy just solidifies they're good, Grammys don't mean a thing anymore. Just look at 2014 Grammys where Macklemore won best rap song, album, and performance. Macklemore. best rap?

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    17. Seriously.. My favourite kind of blues is the Mississippi delta kind, also travelled the region for that reason .. Favourite without a doubt skip James.. Okay they've combine different styles of blues and soul that have bein done before.. What do you really think art is in general especially in the context of our present day.. Absorbing knowledge processing to a new fom of individual and or critical form of expression using one's own experience.. Have you bothered to listen to the lyrics? And as a bonus; easy to fuckin' break down the work of someone else.. Were's your stuff? Everyone's a fuckin' critic these days, you're the soulless ones.

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    18. Maybe it 's just the point although he's got technical as a singer he's not very good in placing emotion in the colour of his voice. What he certainly makes up for in his lyrics, or maybe you guys don't yet have the experience in life and love to fully understand them. Since you all claim their songs lack depth. Dunno.. Any artist you can come up with that they copy in detail and not just technics or styles, etc? Otherwise.. Lawsuit..

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  2. Well, you sir sound like a flatulent little child who comes up with the cliche and lazy argument that I must like Justin Bieber just because I don't like 'good' music like the Black Keys. I'm sorry I offended you and your superior musical tastes.

    I will say this about Justin Bieber: At least he does not pretend to be anything but a throw-away, bubble gum pop star. I wouldn't be surprised if the Black Keys ghost wrote his lyrics.

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  3. "They are marketers and publicists before they are blues musicians." Who says they're blues musicians? Auerbach?: “When I listen to our records, I don’t hear blues music,” he says. “It’s ridiculous to say we play blues music.”

    Oh, I get it some naif called them blues musicians, so you get to disparage them as if they themselves had said it. Pretty slick. And you were a dyspeptic mook before you were a music reviewer.

    If they were great marketers and publicists, I think they'd have made some serious bucks long before 2008.

    I'm not a huge fan of Black Keys or blues rock generally, but this . . . feeling the need for some attention lately?

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  4. Auerbach surely recognizes that more than one naif has called them blues musicians which is why he felt the need to address it. I would argue that they don't play anything close to sounding like the blues.

    Regardless, I am a loser with horrible indigestion so I am terribly irritable and need tons of attention. Thanks!

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  5. I love the Black Keys. But this is %150 accurate. Great post.

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  6. Thankyou so much for this. I googled "the black keys suck" hoping someone shared my views. You put it into the words I was searching for. While everyone is entitled to like whatever they like, I somehow feel like the black keys have tricked the large majority of people into thinking they are the real deal by putting forward everything a blues/rock outfit has to offer except a little thing called tallent. And somehow, amidst all the jack daniels bottles and beards, no1 noticed (or even worse, no1 cared). And as far as them not claiming to be blues musicians, that's obviously them trying to be abstract or something ridiculous like that, coz unfortunately they are blues musicians. The fact is blues music follows a fairly tight formula compared to other styles, but the black keys offer absolutely no creativity. Like you said they have no soul and it's just formulated pop at its simplest.
    Thankyou,
    You are the man

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    1. Awesome. I googled the exact same thing. I despise this repetitive, indistinguishable 3 chord garbage by these pretentious idiots ("we're cool - we're going to slag Nickelback"). Almost as much as I hated the Black Crowes and their ridiculous blues rip-off garbage 20 years ago.

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    2. You wont believe it but same thing here,googled "the black keys suck" and got here,Thank you for your post man,sums them up nicely.Blues my ass.

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    3. Wow. So a lot of us are all googling "The Black Keys Suck." I'm glad I found this post! Exactly my thoughts as well.

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    4. Yay! I googled the Black Keys Suck too! Thank you for expressing my exact opinion with more cuss words!

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    5. ME TOO! I especially hate that one single where they rip off Zeppelin (rip off artists themselves but at least they sound good), Tom Petty, Marilyn Manson and someone else I forgot ALL IN THE SAME SONG! Just a hint: The more you plagiarize, the less talent you truly possess. I googled "Black Keys Suck" right after I read about how they settled with Pizza Hut/Home Depot for using "their" music in commercials w/o permission. Why didn't the actual artists, who actually composed the music sue?? Well because REAL ARTISTS aren't DEPLORABLE SCUM! REAL ARTISTS aren't The Black Keys!

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    6. Hate to hop on the bandwagon here, but I also googled "The Black Keys Suck." Very well-put. Always love a good hate rant.

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    7. Hah, I Googled "Fuck the Black Keys", but same ballpark.

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    8. You are still the top result for a google search of "black keys suck"

      I was just sitting at my desk wondering why they are so popular.

      Thanks!

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    9. LOL I did the same thing: the black keys suck

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    11. Yeah, everyone here Googled "Black Keys suck"...hopefully enough will follow to make it on Google's year-end Zeitgeist list. I actually Googled "Black Keys sound like Audioslave" first cause that's what I thought my human rights violating boss had been subjecting me too until I broke down and Shazam'd a song to discover it was actually the band I always talk shit about but had never heard.
      BTW I also think it's really funny that these tool Black Keys fans went fishing for something like this by Googling "Black Keys Suck". Trolol

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    12. And I also googled "Black Keys suck." If Jack White doesn't like them, then they must suck. Ha. My gripe with them is similar to Mr. White's: I think they are just coat tailing on the White Stripes' success. First the name Black Keys....White Stripes...Black Keys...White Stripes. You get the picture. Also like the White Stripes, a band of two that plays pared down rock. Black Keys, however, are poor man's version of the White Stripes. White Stripes are much more talented, with so much more substance in their music. I'm not ready to say that the Black Keys suck. Their music is better than a lot of stuff out there. But I just don't understand the hype over this band.

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    13. I too searched "The Black Keys suck" and while I share the view I think it goes much deeper. I can dig that they market themselves and use gimmicks, come on all bands do. It's not that they're even trying to do blues. It's that the songs they write are just bad bad bad! Nothing special. And they keep getting overrated and it gives me tumors that spawn headaches.

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  7. ya, there vocals don't line up well with the instruments at all, like wtf

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  8. dude! Elvis was impersonating authentic blues dudes too and he's considered the king. I get your point about the black keys - but who cares where it came from or if they are black or white or nerdy or cool. You know too much about them - so you are tainted. I new NOTHING about the black keys - listened to one of their albums for 6 months, then found out they were art dudes from Cinci - I was kinda shocked for a second - but who cares. Maybe if you actually met them, and spent some time watching them write songs, maybe there's more to their story. You're using pretty harsh words though about some pretty frikin amazing musicians - I don't care how they came up with that music - or if Shirley Temple is the one singing - all I know is to my ears -it sounds frikin authentic and AWESOME - not at all lifeless and souless. Not at all.

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  9. Ohhhh - one more comment - watch them play live on youtube. That dude is singing with his whole heart and soul while playing those awesome ripping leads. You can't fake that - you cant FAKE it. Go to open mic night and you try to sing with even a little soul - you'll see how hard it is. Can't fake it. They're the reel deal. Just cause they don't fit you're image of how they should look. It's music - it's (first) for the ears - not they eyes.

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  10. yeah getting a bit carried away there lol

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  11. I agree...they're pompous assholes who can't write a song beyond a boring repetitive riff.

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  12. can't stand them. their songs are boring as all shit and unoriginal.

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  13. this band does suck. you can tell they're privileged little jerks. and geez...how many lawsuits must they start ?

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  14. ..I think there tunes are OK, I don't think they are virtuosos, but what they try to accomplish is good,very overated as many pseudo "ROCK" musicians on the internet.However,they are honest as they have said themselves they are NOT a "blues band", which is accurate 100%. The drummer admits he sucks, which he DOES but he tries to keep it together, and has my respect, actually as a team to make it this far, you have to give them respect for that
    ..I just think there overated and yes, there are other local musicians in these no name bars that have real talent with there instrument..but as a musicianm you should know for a fact talent is just a small prerequisite, there are other major business factors as well...which this band has and Joe Bluesman..........can blow your mind on guitar, but that's all he has to offer.

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  15. The Black Keys are the worst band of all time.

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    1. HAHAHAHAHAHA no. The Black Keys make honest music. Better music than most artists make these days. People that hate one TBK are the people who like shit such as Nickelback, and sorry not sorry, but they're the ones that blow. Dan and Pat are great, talented guys. They are rock.

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    2. Bulllshit. People who hate "TBK" also include those who can't distinguish between the TBK and Nickleback. If you like them, great, but they aren't "better" than anyone.

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  16. I agree with the author of this blog. The first Black Keys song I heard on the radio "I wanted love... I needed love" had some shreds of distinct and inspired melody, and the change up to the "keepin on to keep on"(or whatever the hell the lyrics are of that weird bridge part are) was interesting. Bit the shit of theirs playes on radio since then is thinner, weaker, less inspired songwriting and even more shrill and stripped down, in a BAD way. Great songwriters don't have to be geniuses, they don't even have to be smart, they just need to be touched by- or open to- a generosity of spirit to draw powerful melodies that resonate with human beings out of the universe. The Black Keys music just constantly sounds to me like hipster ironic smarty pants music nerds, basically doing a "goof" on this decades old, intensely authentic (originally) black American music form. Blues can be simple and unpretentious musically, but there's a concern for uncool, incredibly un-hip CATCHY MELODIES and some sense of PLEASING MUSICAL DYNAMICS. The White Stripes are somewhat better, when Jack White puts on his blues wildman blackface (or Robert Plant face?), because he is such a powerhouse guitarist and singer, and some of his tunes are more musically inspired. But the Black Keys cook a mighty thin broth, and their fetishism of "the blues", to the point of sounding almost like cynical assholes doing a laughable bizarro parody of said music form, is, in my opinion, simply not great rock music. The Black Crows may have fetishized swaggering Southern blues rock, but they didn't sound like a cheap, 2 dimensional junkyard joke. They were an immensely powerful sextet, with lush rock arrangements, fantastic keyboards, monster riffs and leads, a hurricane for a lead singer who took his shit incredibly seriously and, lastly, KILLER SONGS. Jealous Again. Twice As Hard. Hotel Sickness. Remedy. Play one of those and then play the Black Keys latest "hit" in front of a neutral, fair crowd of 50,000 in an arena. The Crowes will blow the fucking BK's out of the county. Same for Lenny Kravitz. Might be a 70's rock fetishist, but he puts his goddamn heart and soul into cranking out balls to the wall ROCK MUSIC with some good catchy melodies. If you're gonna be a novelty goof off band, fine, i.e. Mojo Nixon, Dead Milkmen, Dread Zeppelin, (sort of) They Might Be Giants, Ween. Even the Beastie Boys had aspects of that. Then taker it further. Be funnier and more creative. Fuck around more. Don't pretend to be serious. It's pretty goddamn easy to write and perform shitty Grade C style blues like you'll see in any half mediocre bbq joint Tuesday drop-in blues jam all over America. But, America, please don't be such gullible dumb fucking half-wits as to reward this pseudo hipster fake bullshit with arena sellouts and number one hits. For fuck's sake.

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  17. Never liked them; no apologies here.

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  18. While the OP is being a little harsh in the above post, I agree with the general sentiment.
    My issue is not that the Black Keys are unoriginal. There is plenty of unoriginal music that I like a lot. I love Wayne Hancock, but listen to him and clearly Hank Williams is guiding his hand when he writes his tunes.
    My issue with the Black Keys is that their music doesn't possess anything interesting in the style that they're emulating. A repetitive pentatonic guitar riff and white-boy bluesy vocals and lyrics is just not interesting! If I wanted to hear some pentatonic rock riffs I'd go listen to Cream, or Hendrix, or, for that matter, Captain Beyond!
    If I own 'Treasure Island', I'm not going to go read a photocopy of a Reader's Digest condensed version. I'm going to read the genuine article!
    I mean, at the end of the day, whatever, people can like what they want to. I just feel like the Black Keys are being trumpeted as heroes of bluesy 70's harkening rock, but let's face it, pentatonic riffs just aren't difficult or interesting. Now, a common response to that is, "Well if they're that easy, why don't you go make some that are as good as theirs?" And the point is (I suppose I should have mentioned above I am a guitarist) I DON'T WANT TO! It's cheap and unoriginal and I would feel little to no satisfaction writing such drivel.

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  19. I too found your post after I searched "the black keys suck" and was glad to read your opinions. I'm just a regular joe who loves music but I feel like they ram this band down our throats on every front. Pop station, alternative station, rock station, AC station this band is everywhere. Even my beloved local college station played it and I almost puked in my shoes. I guess the plan is force feed till we like it, well fuck that.

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    1. Plagerism! Phony artist make me sick! Any band that bases their entire career on ripping of one artist and taking credit for art that is not theirs are phony and are like leaches that feed on real artist. They are exactly what is wrong with the music business.No real artist would do what they are doing , it goes against everything art is about. Real artist don't have to steal their art , real artist have more stuff coming at them than they know what to do with,The Black Keys know what they did and who's art they stole..They are fake people..

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  20. I'm tired of these assholes covering old tunes by The Sonics and having idiots think it's their tune.

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  21. I could not agree more. This band is absolutely terrible!

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  22. Never liked them either. boring rip offs all around. saw right through it from the start. their attitude hasn't change my opinion of them. next dismissal: Sheepdogs? yawn.

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  23. I don't understand why it bothers you also much. If you like it listen to it if you don't don't.

    Going on about how they're not real blues musicians just makes you seem snobby and elitist. Listen to your Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters safe in the knowledge that your musical taste is far superior to everyone else because you're so sophisticated...mean while some people just listen along and enjoy it don't see why that's a problem for you.

    And there's always musicians (guitarist and drummers) going on about how they can't drum or play..well guess what? People listen to their music and not yours, get over it. It's not their fault no-one gives a shit about your music, which I'm sure is the best ever it's just that you haven't got a break yet is that it? Stop being bitches...

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    1. Yep, found this through google and completely agree. Their music is simple 3 chord pop that takes a page from the hip hop hand book in that they utilize a single hook and repeat it multiple times until it sticks in the listeners head. Tempos and rhythms are simple and designed to be danceable. I guess it doesn't really bother me that people like them (there's always a market for fast food style music), but the credit they get as musicians is just bewildering to me, and seems more based on image than any kind of substance.

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  24. "I love the blues! My favorite band is the Black Keys!" If someone said that to me, I'd punch him/her in the face. Afterward, I would explain that I only did it because John Lee Hooker can't do it from his grave.

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  25. i agree completely. i googled "fuck the black keys" and this blog came up. ha. good read.

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  26. I've been a fan of the Black Keys ever since they released Thickfreakness about a decade ago because their raw, crunchy, homebrew sound filled a hole in my life that I didn't even know existed. Between then and now, I've seen good times and bad; great moments like (back when they were relatively hip) hearing 10 A.M Automatic on the radio in a coffee shop and thinking that they might get the fame they deserved- or horrible moments like when I bought Brothers of iTunes, listened to it and was just plain old bored by how soulless, cardboard and shallow most of it sounded. When Lonely was released as a single last year, I listened to it and immediately fell in love all over again; it was energetic, catchy, blod and sexy. It took me some time to realise it, but I was so wrong; the strong structure was underwhelmingly simplistic, the lyrics were (as you pointed out) freakishly similar to anything Beiber or the Jonas Brothers could pump out at a moments notice and nothing incredibly interesting happened throughout the song; even the solo felt manufactured and soft. So I was pretty on the fence and I didn't know what to think; was it time to give up on the Black Keys? Were the days of cringe-worthy solos and rusty percussion that was so heavy that you were in danger of falling over from listening to it long gone?, so I found this blog and it showed me the light. I didn't agree with every single word of you rant, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and I'm all the wiser for reading it. In my opinion, the Black Keys only do what they do because of their skin colour; maybe if they were black they would actually have developed a working knowledge of how Blues works and would never have gone near Pop. I think I'm done with The Black Keys, thanks for the great read.

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  27. I hate the black keys for a simpler reason. I don't like their music and the radio stations keep playing it, therefore I get annoyed every time it comes on. That's all. It pisses me off and I wish they'd stop playing that crap.

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  28. I was googling "sucky music bloggers with no taste in music" and I got a hit on this site. BTW, the blues bands you suggested suck really good so I guess Google was correct about you. Congrats!

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    1. Actually I can see every search term a person uses to land on the site and the ONLY black keys related search is, "bands exactly like the black keys," so either you're that person and love the black keys so much you want to hear carbon copies of their style or you landed here by searching, "paul ryan people magazine lifting" which makes significantly less sense. Either way, I gladly accept your congratulations and suggest not letting your feelings of self-worth be abused when someone attacks your shitty taste in music.

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  29. Well, back in the late 50's and early 60's, The Rolling Stones music received the same value jugment coming from blues purists... It didn't make it less good...
    I understand you want to have a different point of view to catch people's attention on your website and that works, I read your article, I was ready to ear what you had to say but your criticism is way too agressive to be constructive... Musicians have to be marketers and publicists sometimes, they all need to sell their work, that is part of their job, tours only are partly marketing and publicity...!

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  30. I would slap you across the face with my dick if you were here right now.

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  31. this op-ed perfectly sums up everything i havent been able to articulate about the black keys. they truly are straight up mediocre. well done sir, you have a way with the words

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  32. My ex girfriend loved the black keys. She was no fun in bed either, thats why I broke up with her even though she was 20 years younger than me. Boring!

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  33. you are all a bunch of fags!

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  34. The Black Keys are the fast food of music. The masses love them, but people who want healthy minds listen to real music.

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  35. The only thing that bugs me is the accountant diss. My mom was an accountant for 12 years and she is certainly NOT soulless.

    Now, I've got to say this group isn't THAT bad. My pet peeve is their desire to have it both ways regarding their street cred status. They diss popular musicians and then make a huge show of attempting to climb the billboard charts. Sorry fellas, but it's one or the other. You are either a corporate rock conglomerates puppet *or* a band with a modicum of integrity. They are now giant hypocrites in addition to being bullshit posturing sell-outs.

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  36. Why can't there be a band that plays inspired music, doesn't look like a bunch of pretentious assholes, and has fans that don't spend all of their energy trying to look cool and bored as hell? I'm Sick to death of hipsters and one dimensional artists.

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  37. Well, I personally love the Black Keys. While some of you have made some very interesting and plausible points, you have still failed to influence my overall opinion of the band. To categorize the Black Keys to "pop" is a bit irrational. I wouldn't say that the Black Keys are the same band that they were, but no band is. If a band never gradually developed throughout their career, they would be very bland and consistent. And to say that the band are just pretentious assholes is a little rude, but it's not as if they care at all. Another thing that provokes me is when people call the Black Keys sellouts. I would in no way say that they are sellouts, in any case. For one, if the Black Keys really wanted money, they could have just sold one of their songs to a mayo company in Britain and would've had 200,000 pounds. The band has been going at it for over a decade and finally have succeeded in getting a bit of mainstream success. So rather than be a little dick that thinks,"Man I don't like bands once they become successful. You know, 'cause since they're successful now I have to stop listening to them so I can make a statement that no one gives a shit about, instead of just continuing to listen to them." It's as simple as listen to it, or don't. No one is telling you to.

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    1. You wouldn't say they're sellouts? TBK care more about making money and being popular than producing quality material. That is the definition of sellout. So, rather than be a little dick about it, just accept that the blogger is right and quit trolling. It's as simple as that....

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  38. I saw them on the BBC and bought into their act so I purchased my first CD in at least 15 years (Brothers). To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. The whole thing, from the singing, songs and production to the way they dress is just so contrived. I should have known from the picture on the CD. No good music ever comes from "nerdy art school types".

    If you are more concerned about your thick rimmed black glasses and what sweater vest to wear then the music you create, You are perpetrating.

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  39. I enjoy their music. They're quite a bit poppish now. Up until their release "Magic Potion" (their best in my opinion), they were quite blues influenced. I feel like you guys think everyone in this generation that's trying to bring a slice of average music is a hipster. "The Smiths" were "nerdy art school types". I guess attempted revival is all bullshit now. Oh, and people still think they're hipsters even though they consider their latest album a sellout. Needless to say, "The Beatles" sold out. Just because they aren't Muddy Fucking Waters doesn't mean they aren't good. In all, I consider them "garage rock".

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  40. I'm glad I don't have to associate with these particular anti-Black Keys peeps. Every one of these responses (including the initial review) was shallow and aggressively ignorant but I guess I'd expect nothing less from children riding the internets... the excess of "fucks", "sucks", and "assholes" grants me just. enough. fucks. to reach out to you sorry s.o.b.'s

    Dan and Pat did their thing which could be described as blue's inspired rock. and then ran with it to what it is now. It's on the faux-fans for being the stupid ones to call it blues. If you're gonna get shitty enough about a band doing their own thing then go jerk your tears away in the corner. no need to share that arbitrary hate. Especially when you don't have anything tangible to contribute other than the off-handed comments of confused listeners.

    So, to the panty-wad that put together this article and to all his followers: Don't be a Black Keys fan. We don't want you. Now you can quit talkin shit.

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    1. You sound very stupid.

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  41. I've been listening to the Black Keys on Youtube. My opinion is that they sound like old 60's groups, kinda like Grand Funk, but not as exciting. As I listened to each album from the beginning, I was disappointed that they all sounded the same to me. I like them, they are OK...but I would rather listen to Grand Funk, or any other 60's group.

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  42. They're beginning to fade away, soon to be relegated to a VH1 list show. In 5 years nobody will even remember they existed which is as it should be.

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  43. This is a joke review and your grammar is terrible.

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  44. Amen brother, the Black Keys should just quit already. They should have never made a band in the first place.

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  45. I have played and am part of the Northeast Ohio music scene that spawned that god awful second rate White Stripes rip off band. The Black Keys suck miniature moose dick! Face it, they are unoriginal and they blow! I know of only 1 or 2 people that actually like them around here, and this is where they came from! They claim to have all these roots in the "rubber city" but as soon as they made a buck or two they abandoned NE Ohio and headed south to Nashville. They could have stuck around and helped grow the scene that gave them such success. Instead they showed their true selfish colors and turned their backs on the scene that made them who they are. What a couple of untalented dicks!

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  46. The Keys are an extremely calculated attempt to cash in on another band's creativity, hard work and grass-roots popularity. Everything about the Keys is carefully contrived, from their cliche, dime a dozen hipster "style" (beards, Buddy Holly glasses, etc.) to their rip-off name. In a lot of ways they are no different than other contrived pop groups like N Sync, New Kids on the Block, etc. -- just aimed at the very lucrative hipster demograpic, instead of high school kids.

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  47. The black keys sound like a lame-ass garage band comprised of 12 year olds who are trying to learn how to play.
    They truly do suck!

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  48. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elK0jHNAcR4

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  49. They are complete homos. I went to HS with them. They just copied the White Stripes as much as they could, but they were such queers that no girls wanted to play drums for them.

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    1. oh you don't like them because they're homos and were not cool in highschool. alright yeah that makes total since. guess he hates gay people

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  50. Okay cue the bashers of what I am about to post. The Black Keys are Jack White, if he actually sucked. "We play whatever we want", check, so does Jack White; tends towards stripped down and simple song constructions, check, so does Jack White. But somehow the Black Keys come off as bland and soulless. I totally agree. Both have a musical background, but somehow one is capable of actually being creative, writing songs that are fun as complex as he want to make then with really interesting lyrics even when bounded by simple structures. Perhaps I am coming off as a hipster-douche lover of the White Stripes, but I can listen to their music over and over again; I've listened to "Brothers" once: it wasn't bad; when I tried to listen to it twice, I stopped and went off to the beach and watched the sun set. Thought the end of my day was better spent that way.

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  51. Okay cue the bashers of what I am about to post. The Black Keys are Jack White, if he actually sucked. "We play whatever we want", check, so does Jack White; tends towards stripped down and simple song constructions, check, so does Jack White. But somehow the Black Keys come off as bland and soulless. I totally agree. Both have a musical background, but somehow one is capable of actually being creative, writing songs that are fun and complex as he wants them to be with really interesting lyrics. Perhaps I am coming off as a hipster-douche lover of the White Stripes, but I can listen to their music over and over again; I've listened to "Brothers" once: it wasn't bad; when I tried to listen to it twice, I stopped and went off to the beach and watched the sun set. Thought the end of my day was better spent that way.

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  52. haha it's funny because they have millions of dollars and you don't.

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  53. BLack Keys suck. Money and fame is not a measure of quality, it is a measure of success, so stop that asinine argument. THe Black Keys suck, period. THe front guy I can sort of stand, although his songs are boring. The really intolerable one is the terrible drummer, who embarasses the art of drumming. Only millenial hipsters could get behind this pile of dreck, but then that's millenials for you, dressing like every previous underground movement while they push the kind of top 40 garbage that mainstream frat boys didn't listen to...no wait, it was college dweeb nerdolas. I was actually a nerd myself, but we listened to real underground punk and industrial music which eventually turned into grunge. THe only thing millenial garbage faux folk and non blues will turn into is embarassing memories, and displeasure for anyone who knows real music.

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  54. Well yeah Black Keys are a stylistic fad that won't last. They are just generic radio shite to fill in the "rock" void, in contemporary mindless pop music. They ain't music so much as they are a money-making business scheme, duh...

    There's nothing original about BK. In fact they are TERRIBLY generic, and do the "blues-rock" thing without the charisma or personality of JSBX or White Stripes, who preceded them by quite a bit...

    We all know it is music execs who marketed & pushed the Black Keys as a "retro-hipster-indy" pop-blues-rock flavor, meant to catch on with kids who are into the whole retro-hipster-indy fad. That shit sells - kids wanna buy into this, so that's where the market goes. In the end, BK are to the 2010s what the Monkees were to the 1960s. Lame-wads in a money making mission.

    ...Poor kids would be better served by going beyond what the mainstream mindlessly tells them, by seeking out actual real old blues. But that takes effort! Anyway, I won't be surprised when few remember the Black Keys with any fondness in about 5 years. They are boring.

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  55. The Black Keys are hipster trash. Awful in every respect.

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  56. Here is my educated opinion... "Fuck all yall",, Black keys kick ass!!!!!

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  57. Heard some horrible music on the radio (The Edge 102.1 in Toronto) which to me exemplified indi rock garbage. I Shazamed it, then googles Black Keys suck. which find me here.

    They suck.

    I thought "The Way it Is" was the Black Keys song for sure, another souless empty pit of a track but NOOOO its by the Sheep Dogs and they seem to offer better music.

    If you have to hear something similarly shitty listen to this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6VaRm56Vsg

    THANK you for the POST!

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  58. They should be "The Black Knees" for how often they had to be on them to "earn" recording contracts. It's hard to get that stuff out of a beard I'd imagine.

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  59. Oh God...a friend has recommended me the Brothers album.
    By the time I reached the sixth or seventh song, I googled if I were the only one who thought this band was one of the most generic and boring bands that's ever become so popular.

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  60. I fully agree that the Black Keys are soulless marketing gimmicks. I listened to traditional American Blues before they came around, and continue to do so. If someone wants to hear quality contemporary music with soul, they should spend their timing listening to real musicians like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

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  61. change their name to "the blah blah blah keys"

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  62. They should exhume Junior Kimbrough and spend several days kissing his ass...decomposed and all...cuz they owe their whole career to him...and he died broke of course

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  63. at least they quit pretending to be "blues" artists and embraced their cheesey midwestern white boy-ness

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  64. I don't particularly care for them. Its an image of the blues with perfectly replicated guitar tunes and some cute pop pads to make it catchy. There is nothing personal or distinctive. Strangely I saw them perform last night. My girlfriend had won tickets through a radio contest and I had not been to a large concert in a long time so....why not. As expected , it was not a rock show. Very orchestrated, lights cued to every note in a solo and a visual show emulating the feel of ausic video. Nothing occurred in the moment, it sounded like a mixed record, it could have been self karaoke and no one would have noticed the difference ( perhaps it was, I noticed a second guitar part several times that was not a simple loop yet....no second guitar player). The best analogy was when halfway through I noticed a young black kid mopping the floor down a hall between seating sections while the mostly white middle class audience was standing and cheering. It kind of got to me. The blues which the Black Keys synthesize was working peoples music. Music about pain and struggle and small joys among the grind of life for those with callused hands and a depth of experience. That man was mopping the floor while The Black Keys played, he probably could not even afford a ticket...and wouldn't want one.

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  65. Wooooowww. What a thread. The Black Keys suck. Justin Beiber sucks. They're both soulless cardboard cutouts of what music really is. Imagine an on the fritz mid 80's Zerox machine that somehow makes music.

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