Celebrating 20 years as a band this year, The Black Keys return with their 10th studio album, “Delta Kream.” The popular rock duo, consisting of guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney, step outside of their usual alternative sound and once again dedicate a second album entirely to blues covers that does not disappoint.
Songs such as “Coal Black Mattie” and “Mellow Peaches” deliver vibrant bass lines and hard-hitting guitar solos that perfectly capture the essence of classic blues tunes. Each song throughout the album maintains the same rugged, blues-influenced sound that helps express deep stories of love, loss, and frustration. The second to last track on the album, “Come on and Go with Me,” brings the album to a smooth closing as the band takes on a slower tempo ballad different from the other 11 tracks.
Though the album is a tasteful ode to classic Mississippi hill country blues artists, Auerbach’s voice lacks the range of a traditional blues singer. It would sound like any other album by the group if it weren’t for the rough guitar riffs and soul-filled lyrics. There are refined takes of the original songs, but these are not personalized enough to be something completely new. Granted, the entire album was recorded in a matter of hours and is meant to be more of a reflection of the band’s roots rather than the next step in their musical journey.
The Black Keys show serious potential to make a blues sound all their own if only they would venture out into writing original blues material. But more than anything, the new album is a clear indicator that even after 20 years as a group, The Black Keys are still willing to explore new styles to add to their already impressive legacy.
Whether you’re taking a night for yourself to relax or need something to jam out to while on the road, “Delta Kream” is a must listen for anyone that appreciates a classic blues album and music that takes on the role of a storyteller.
“Delta Kream” by The Black Keys