Top 10 2006; 3

The Black Keys
Magic Potion
Black Door (removed. contact me for a copy.)

I have categorized, analyzed, and agonized over the selections for this list. I killed brain cells trying to figure out who should be #11 and who #12, etc. But luckily my top three were easy; and this album would have been #1 if there hadn’t been, you know, those other two pesky records in the way. It’s the only album that I bought, full price, from Borders, just because I saw it on display and had to have it.

This album has no contemporaries, but it has peers: it reminds me intensely of many hours I spent in my room at seventeen, memorizing every word to every album Led Zeppelin ever put out (and subsequently Pink Floyd, etc.). Auerbach and Carney simply lead a war on idiot pop, from the charge of the very first chord to the guitar-smashing that (I presume) occurs at the end of each song. I know they don’t like to be called bluesmen, but I hope they don’t mind me calling it blues rock, because this is blues rock at its finest — witness the fuzzy 70s-esque “Black Door,” which could have easily appeared on a Zeppelin record. I imagine a Black Keys concert (if they ever come out here!) will be the substitute for the Zeppelin concert I could never attend, with the added bonus that I’ll never have to hear “Living Loving Maid” or “The Lemon Song.”

I’ve said “I” too much in this overview, but this is the only album on the list that is just … visceral. This is music for my blood, which is blues, and my muscles, which are rock (if you’re wondering about my brain, it’s indie. Heh). It’s music in a grand tradition, one that shouldn’t have died out but basically has. Luckily, the Black Keys can bring it back to life like a lightning bolt.

[see Best of 2006 for more]