“WTF? Did I just hear some jazz flute?” - partlycloudy
The Black Keys - Attack & Release
(1708 Points, 27 Votes)
US Chart Position: #14
UK Chart Position
: “Attack & Release” begins with a terrific opening song. It sooths the listener. It puts them in a trance. It puts them at peace. It makes them tap their feet, close their eyes, and kiss their lovers. It makes them want to play guitar. It makes them want to have soul, passion, emotion. It makes them want to discover a newfound love. The haunting, dismal guitar solo that ends the first track tells us that we have an epic journey ahead of us.
With “I Got Mine” we hear The Black Keys. The rock 'n' roll/bluegrass/Southern band everyone grew to know and love. The scratchy lyrics. “So baby when I rolled, I rolled deep.” Such a bad ass song to sing along to. This whole album encompasses greatness. It makes the listener want to drink whiskey and put a cigarette out on anyone who looks at them wrong.
“Strange Times.” The single. The “oooo-ing.” The “ahhhh-ing.” The greatness. Awesome drumming at the beginning, with a damn near perfect guitar riff that enters. Head bouncing. Grinning. Charming. “Strange times are here.” When “I Got Mine” makes the listener want to start a fight, “Strange Times” imagines them actually beginning that fight. Breaking a Jack Daniels bottle over a police officer and riding away in my motorcycle.
“Psychotic Girl.” The piano. The drums. The perfection.
This album is about heartbreak. It's about revenge. It's about regret. It's about love. It's about loss. It's about torment. It's about torture. It's an album to drink to. It's an album to fuck to. It's an album to get arrested to. It's an album to fall asleep to.
This album is about doing anything imaginable in order to please a lady. Buying her gifts. Flowering her with presents. Pleasing her infinitely. Making her happy just to see her smile. Then, eventually, it's revealed that she might be kind of a bitch. She might be evil. She might be getting around. She might not be appreciating the relationship as she should. Then it's realized she's a crazy bitch and things kind of suck with her around. So distance is managed.
Things suck but it had to happen. Maybe she will end it eventually, so it's not a problem. Loss causes pain and he misses her being so close but he can't trust her any more. Either way, he was in love. He still is. He can't stop thinking about her. He wants her back and he doesn't know why. His heart has been replaced with a stone and lies are all around. Too much pain. Too much deception. Remember when? Two great songs back-to-back with the same lyrics but different rhythms. Something triggers an old emotion. At first, he feels upset. He feels sad. He feels sorrow. Depression transforms to anger. Now he's going to drink. Now he's going to crack a pool stick over a bartender face's. Damn, love stings.
“Attack & Release” is about lost causes. It's about mistaken identities. It's about old memories. It's about saddening thoughts. It's about hungover nightmares. It's about dwindling depression. It's about uproarious anger. It's about mischievous sorrow. It's about exciting evil. It's about skeptic thieves.
No matter how hard you try, life and the surrounding love is going to hurt. Love with defeat you and leave you empty. But we constantly try and strive for that euphoria for that perfect moment. We crave it. We desire it. We need it. Sometimes it just won't come. Shit happens and the old times are sometimes always better. One thing is certain: things ain't like they used to be.
While this album might not have been my favorite of the year, I am positive that I won't listen to a 2008 album in the future more than “Attack & Release.” The Black Keys' masterpiece.
“Ain't it just like dying, except you can still feel the shame. All hands on deck now, the sea is getting rough again.”
Artist's Previous Rankings on Our Albums Lists
Ranked Highest By
: SonicAlligator, The Gram (#2)
Also Ranked By
: Sid Hartha (#4), Vivian Darkbloom, solace, nole.kennedy (#5)