Feb 212024
the black keys william bell

Akron-based duo The Black Keys are going back to their roots in 2024. After more than 20 years in the business and a lifetime of friendship, they will release their new album Ohio Players in April, and a documentary on their work together will also be released this year. Their latest single from the album is a cover of the William Bell classic “I Forgot to be Your Lover.”

The Black Keys strip the song right back to basics, with a faithful recreation of the downbeat, minor key, pace and tone of the original. However, the relocation from a Stax Memphis studio to a garage in Akron changes the dynamics. The guitar is rougher, and the sound less polished overall. Dan Auerbach’s vocals cannot match the smoothness of Bell’s, but that is not the intention. He is just rueful. He is apologizing, not necessarily asking for forgiveness and a second/third/fourth chance. Most versions of the song suggest a late night booty call. Auerbach and his drummer buddy Patrick Carney just want to set the record straight.

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