The Black Keys, the Akron-born rock duo of drummer Pat Carney and singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach, on Monday released the lead single, Fever, from their upcoming eighth album, Turn Blue.
For longtime fans of the band’s early fuzzed-out blues-rock sound with a big half-time beat, and perhaps fans of their breakthrough album Brothers, Fever might come as a bit of a surprise. The four-minute tune doesn’t rely on a guitar riff, instead working a steady pop beat, a bouncy, syncopated bass line, a hummable retro Farfisa/synth melody and a few strummed rhythm guitar chords.
Auerbach reaches up into his falsetto range for verses (apparently) full of regret, and of course the chorus is another earworm-worthy hook from the Keys.
As lead singles go, Fever will eagerly whet the appetites for Turn Blue, particularly among fans who only know the band in its current arena-rock form. Those hoping for a return to the “old school” sound of the Rubber Factory days may take a little longer to warm up to the band’s concentrated effort to continually expand its musical palette.
The 11-track Turn Blue will be released May 13. According to the band’s official news release, the album’s title refers to at least one of the following:
C: Numbness from extreme cold
D: A Cleveland late-night TV host from the 1960s named Ghoulardi
E: All of the above”
Carney said in the news release: “We are always trying to push ourselves when we make a record — not repeat our previous work but not abandon it either. On this record, we let the songs breathe and explored moods, textures and sounds. We’re excited for the world to hear Turn Blue.”
You can pre-order Turn Blue and listen to Fever at www.theblackkeys.com/turnblue.
Another Akron artist
Monday was a busy day for Akron-born musicians.
After a few decades fronting The Pretenders, another Firestone High graduate, Chrissie Hynde, announced the release of her debut solo album, Stockholm, on June 9.
The first single, Dark Sunglasses, was released Monday and can be heard at https://soundcloud.com/chrissie hynde/dark-sunglasses.