The Black Keys
Sounds Like: The duo’s seventh is scarily pursuing the Kings of Leon arc of success; keep getting louder and more successful till you sell out arenas.
Free Association: There’s a broke-ass ripoff of “Stairway to Heaven” on this record!
For Fans Of: White Stripes x Steppenwolf, Kills + Zeppelin, songs built for commercials.
Back To Love
Sounds Like: The R&B veteran (he’s 40) made a splash in 2003 and he’s been guesting all ova the place, but on his newest he flexes his soulful, gorgeous voice.
Free Association: Dopes like Trey Songz and Chris Brown need to take some notes.
For Fans Of: Jill Scott (“So In Love”), Marvin/Curtis/Teddy, slow jamz with heart.
Sounds Like: B-sides, demos and live cuts from the stellar Beck-produced “IRM” prove she’s more than just a gifted actress, she’s also got pipes and stage presence.
Free Association: Modern Jane Birkin and can do no wrong—recycle and reuse, girl.
PW's Music Issue 2014