The Black Keys, Carolina Chocolate Drops Make NPR, Paste Lists of Top 50 Albums of 2010
The Black Keys and Carolina Chocolate Drops have each had a banner year in 2010, releasing new albums—Brothers and Genuine Negro Jig, respectively—that have reached new heights on the charts and performing for ever-expanding audiences, all the while earning critical acclaim along the way. Now, as the year's end approaches and the critics have begun to weigh in on the best albums of 2010, both albums are in the news once more. They have made the list of NPR's 50 Favorite Albums of 2010 and Paste magazine's 50 Best Albums of 2010.
"These are the artists and albums we enjoyed the most in 2010—the ones that inspired us, surprised us and stayed with us more than any others," says NPR of its list.
"There's no denying a Black Keys record," writes NPR's Andre Barnes. "It's pungent, weathered and bewitching all the same—true to its blues-rock roots." Their latest album, says Barnes "takes a more mellifluous approach to The Black Keys' dark and rugged sound, but the gritty twang and conviction of Dan Auerbach's voice and distorted guitar remain intact. While Brothers marks a turning point for The Black Keys, it also reaffirms the duo as an important fixture in contemporary blues-rock."
Brothers comes in a No. 46 on Paste's list of the year's best. The magazine's Michaelangelo Matos notes the "swampy texture" of the songs in a mix "that nevertheless carves out individual space for each instrument. Guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney swing more loosely than usual, too, particularly on the Bo Diddley-gone-glam stomp 'Howlin’ for You.'"
Of the Carolina Chocolate Drops' Nonesuch debut album, Jim Blum, of NPR's Folk Alley, "Genuine Negro Jig celebrates and promotes historical music," and all of the songs on record "are played with effervescence and reverence for the history they evoke. Not everything about Carolina Chocolate Drops is ancient history, however: The band has recorded Tom Waits' "Trampled Rose," and these days you'll find it at big festivals like Merlefest. CCD's energy is so infectious, it's virtually impossible not to be drawn in."
Carolina Chocolate Drops land at No. 32 on Paste's list with Genuine Negro Jig. "What they’ve also done is dust off a musical form seen today as either a novelty or the exclusive provenance of ethnomusicologists," explains Paste's Corey DuBrowa. "To paraphrase Rakim’s immortal words, these Drops ain’t no joke: Their enthusiasm for the tradition is obvious even as the trio spans from traditional arrangements (the rollicking fiddle rave-ups “Trouble in Your Mind” and “Cindy Gal”) to self-penned works (the particularly terrific “Kissin’ and Cussin’”) and stringband makeovers of modern-day works (a hip-hop influenced cover of Blu Cantrell’s “Hit ’em Up Style (Oops!)” and Tom Waits’ “Trampled Rose”). Several generations removed from the origins of their chosen idiom, the Carolina Chocolate Drops are nonetheless the genuine article."
Both Brothers and Genuine Negro Jig are now 33% off in the Nonesuch Store, along with every CDs, LPs, and DVDs there, as part of the store's third anniversary sale.
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