Black Keys: Proud To Be Luddites
FANS of the Black Keys are, like the band themselves, people who look back at a fabled ‘golden age’ of rock that doesn’t actually exist.
See, a lot of fans of bluesy dadrock will tell themselves that, once upon a time, music was made by ‘real’ people who played ‘real’ instruments. Everything was honest. The lunatic were ruling the asylum and people were able to express themselves artistically in a way that people aren’t now.
Of course, that’s complete piss. Music has always been a cesspool and decade on decade, there was exactly the same amount of great music and complete dreck thrown toward the public.
However, bands like the Black Keys know this, but they still need to hit out at modern stuff because their fans like it when they go after popular music, despite the Black Keys themselves being big sellers and just as commercial as anyone else, doing the festival circuit, TV shows and the like.
After drummer Patrick Carney called Justin Bieber ‘irresponsible’ recently, which of course, all the fun musicians are, he’s now having a go at the latest Michael Jackson project.
He thinks it is “bullshit”.
The album, ‘Xscape’ is released on the same day as The Black Keys album, ‘Turn Blue’. The Black Keys album, you’d assume, features skuzzy drumming, lightly fuzzed guitar, cod-soulful vocals and a solo here and there. ‘Xscape’ on the otherhand, features an interesting proposition which, on first look, seems to be awful.
Basically, eight unreleased Michael Jackson tracks have been rejigged by some of the greatest R&B producers who ever lived. LA Reid and Timbaland were on-board to, not so much remix the songs, but rebuild new songs from the ground up, aided only by the vocals.
To keep MJ purists happy, the original demos have been included, so you have twice the work, and some lineage to see how the production differs. Most importantly, it’s a fun album that can coexist with everything else because there’s no right or wrong way of making music.
The Black Keys drummer doesn’t agree: “It’s some fucking bullshit that sucks so bad that it took them three years after he died to make it listenable,” he told Rolling Stone. “Like he had to be dead for three years for it to be released.”
The tracks, apparently, were only being released because “L.A. Reid needed a new boat.”
That may or may not be true. Obviously, you wouldn’t catch the Black Keys doing things purely for commercial gain, would you? Like flogging their songs to marketing companies to be used on TV adverts.