The Black Keys Blast Back with Best Album in Over a Decade on Dropout Boogie

5 out of 5 stars

Well, this is the kind of music that I have been waiting for from The Black Keys since my personal favorite album Brothers dropped about 12 years ago. 

The Black Keys new effort is called Dropout Boogie, and it is absolutely stellar.

The lead song (and first single), “Wild Child” is an absolute club banger and one of the best songs by The Black Keys period. It is a certified song of the year candidate already, as it rocks with poppy hooks and bluesy rock riffs all the way through. It’s the stuff that made The Black Keys who they are today.

But here’s the thing, for all the fans who actually like the rest of the albums (not just the singles), and who know that there are some absolutely killer blues-rock songs throughout the catalog of this band, you will be happy to know that pretty much EVERY song on this album is as good as any other song on any other album.

It Ain’t Over” is another cracking song that will get stuck in your head. It sort of reminds me of songs from Brothers but sped up a bit with a catchier hook. The riffs and vocal melodies definitely remind me of a few songs from their previous albums.

To me, this is a ten-song masterpiece for the band. Normally, you would get 15 or so songs in the past, but this is a pretty perfect album. 

For the Love of Money” has the slide guitar rock riffs that I only really hear from Dan Auerbach these days - reminiscent of ZZ Top and many other blues-rock legends. Man, this song is just so damn good too.

And speaking of ZZ Top, well, the song “Good Love” features the absolute legend himself, Billy Gibbons. It’s a great damn song too. 

I still remember Jack White (of White Stripes fame) talking trash about The Black Keys for years, and all I think about now is how Jack White should have kept quiet, because his ego has made him one of my least favorite artists (on top of his poor music choices these days), and The Black Keys have always been one of the best bands in the world since their first album.

So, let me lay this beef to rest (for myself anyway) with a simple math formula, Jack White < The Black Keys. Always has been. Always will be.

Another great track on this album is “Burn The Damn Thing Down.” It actually reminds me of the Blues Brothers for some reason. As in to say, I could see them playing a song like this, but making it a way over the top version of it.

The line, “If we make it to your town, we're gonna burn the damn thing down,” is a pretty awesome lyric.

Okay, so I come to my ONLY critique of the album, and that is the glaring fact that the song “Baby I’m Coming Home” uses the same riff as “Midnight Rider” by The Allman Brothers Band. Is it clear as day? Yeah. Does it ruin the song? Not really. Especially if you don’t know the original song. Does it have a bit of a claim for a lawsuit? Perhaps. That is if the Allman Brothers are up for making a stink about it.

Look, the riff may be in a different key or on a different scale overall or slightly sped up, but it sounds pretty much the same to the naked ear.

Now that we got that out of the way, I think the song is still rocking as hell, because it doesn’t just rely on that one riff (but it is the backbone of the verse).

Other than that, you have yourself the second or third best album by The Black Keys, in my opinion. It’s really that good.