Worst to First: Every Black Keys Album Ranked
The Black Keys might have seemed like overnight sensations when they shot out of Akron, Ohio, and into the mainstream spotlight in 2010, but their sudden notoriety belied their gradual, old-school ascent.
Frontman Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney started churning out lo-fi, gut-punching blues rock (literally out of their basement) in 2001, releasing three DIY albums that incrementally grew their cult status before signing to a major label by the middle of the decade. After finding an unexpected creative partner in producer Danger Mouse, the pair delved further into psychedelia, soul and swirling, fuzzy rock from the ’60s and ’70s en route to becoming one of the preeminent rock outfits of the 21st century. While they’ve faced inescapable comparisons to the White Stripes (both bands are duos rooted in the blues and both have similarly monochromatic names), the Keys distinguished themselves by retaining mostly true to their classicist aesthetic while breathing new life into sounds firmly planted in the past.
In the above installment of Worst to First, we rank each of their albums – from those recorded in shuttered rubber factories to those laid down at the iconic Sound City Studios. While they’ve been around longer than it might seem, the fresh direction of their most recent releases hints that the Black Keys might just be getting started.