The Black Keys slow it down for ‘Delta Kream’

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On May 14, the ever mysterious Dan Aurebach and Patrick Carney of The Black Keys released their tenth album titled “Delta Kream ” recorded in Nashville Tenn. 

“Delta Kream” is the rock band’s first album following their triumphant return in 2019 after Auerbach and Carney broke up the band in 2015. 

“Delta Kream” includes 11 songs averaging four to six minutes in length. The album in its entirety clocks in at 54 minutes and 15 seconds.  As avid fan of The Black Keys who attended one of their concerts before the pandemic, I was thrilled to know the band was releasing a new album, despite the fact that their previous album “Let’s Rock” only included one or two songs that I distinctly enjoyed, and the rest of the album was pretty bland.

Sadly, I have to say the same about “Delta Kream.”     

In many of their earlier albums like “Thickfreakness,” “Rubbery Factory” and their opus “Brothers,” there was a distinct, rough and gritty sound to them that gave them a completely unique feel. 

In “Delta Kream,” it seems as though Auerbach and Carney are trying to revive that sound, which I actually found enjoyable. It sounds almost as if the guitar and bass were purposefully recorded on older devices to give that authenticity. However, The Black Keys have definitely switched their style of song with “Delta Kream.” Many of the songs are slower than in previous albums and much longer. This made the listening tedious.

I can understand that the slower sound created in “Delta Kream” is most likely what Auerbach and Carney are trying to do, but it isn’t the upbeat catchy vibe that they once brought to the table. The Black Keys are much more subdued in this project. 

This isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy some of the songs, though. “Crawling Kingsnake” and “Going Down South” were some highlights, and there was a certain catchiness to them. Auerbach also sang in his higher-pitched voice on “Going Down South,” which I haven’t heard him use since “Everlasting Light” on “Brothers.” 

In my honest opinion, I would recommend this album to any rock/blues rock listener, and “Delta Kream” does elicits a calming vibe that I some could still find enjoyable.  

However, I hope Auerbach and Carney are able to produce something with more grip in the future as “Delta Kream” seemed to go in one ear and out the other for me. They are two dudes whos music I love, and I know they can do better.