Rough. Thick. Haunting. Straight from the gut. Authentic, soulful, American blues rock. If these descriptions appeal to you, then you're gonna love "Magic Potion," the fourth full album from The Black Keys.
It makes me feel good to say that this Ohio-based guitar-and-drums two-piece continues to stand tall as one of the last bastions of righteous, pure, blues-based rock 'n' roll. Boasting a particularly raw, hard sound, the duo is based in the North Mississippi blues tradition and on "Magic Potion," they continue to add the best attributes of classic-rock bands like AC/DC, ZZ Top and Led Zeppelin, with none of the corny anthems, overproduction or medieval English folklore.
Yet miraculously, the Keys have polished their sound further without removing any of the grit and groove that makes them shine. Dan Auerbach's vocals and guitar are richer, and Pat Carney's drum kit speaks more clearly. Every Black Keys album is special. This could be their best.
- Dave Bond