Blak And Blu
They say don’t judge a book by its cover – but often you can do exactly that with a CD. And after months of being pretty excited by a lot of Gary Clark Jr’s playing I was immediately concerned when the album arrived in the letterbox…
Hard to know why exactly but I just had an instant bad feeling about it. And the album is a giant disappointment. Recycled material from the earlier EP, dumbed down and re-paraded and some strange approach to flit between styles – it might want to be Shuggie Otis and Cody ChesnuTT and Parliament, albeit for a generation that carries its music collection in its pocket. But all it really ends up being is a bad Lenny Kravitz album (something Lenny Kravitz is more than capable of himself) This is sort of Lenny Kravitz-goes-vaguely-hip-hop. And not in a bad way. It goes far beyond that to more a ‘”what the fuck is this shit?” kinda way.
The first couple of songs hint not so much at where The Black Keys have gone as to where they might next be going. Selling a version of “blues guitar” to mallrats who just wanna dance, man!
And though there are some moments – some, mind – most of the time the solos, which had seemed so electrifying on the earlier EP and in the abundance of jaw-dropping live clips that are out and about, now just feel like they’ve been applied with a paintball gun. Horrible. And just a giant shame. Or is it a giant sham? Probably both.