100 Best Songs of the 2010s – #57: “Fever” by The Black Keys

The song at #57 on my list of 100 Best Songs of the 2010s is “Fever” by The Black Keys. Originally hailing from Akron, Ohio, but based in the music city of Nashville since 2010, The Black Keys consists of childhood friends Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney. The duo have been putting out fantastic music for nearly 20 years, and I love many of their songs – two of which are included on this list. The first of them is “Fever”, released in March 2014 as the lead single from their eighth studio album Turn Blue.

The song, along with many of the tracks on Turn Blue, was co-written and co-produced with noted producer Danger Mouse. The recording sessions for the album coincided with Auerbach’s divorce from his wife, which inspired many of the album’s lyrics. The songs on Turn Blue are generally more melancholy and introspective than those on their previous album El Camino, and represented a continuation of the duo’s departure from their earlier blues/garage rock roots, much to the chagrin of some of their fans.

“Fever” has a slicker, psychedelic rock vibe, with an infectious dance beat and greater use of lush, throbbing synths in addition to driving guitar riffs and snappy drums. And that deep bass line is fantastic! The song was nominated for two Grammy Awards, for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance. “Fever” was one of my favorite songs of 2014, and was a big hit on the Billboard Alternative, Adult Alternative and Rock Airplay charts, spending 11 weeks at #1 on the Alternative chart. Unbelievably, it peaked only at #77 on the Hot 100.

The unusual video features Auerbach portraying a sweaty televangelist preaching to an audience as drummer Patrick Carney sits nearby.

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