The Black Keys Review Exclaim!'s 'Ohio Players' Review

"I just Googled the guy. He lives in Manitoba, so he gets a pass."

Photo: Larry Niehues

BY Exclaim! StaffPublished Apr 12, 2024

Here at Exclaim!, there's a special place in our hearts for a good bad review. Perhaps contrary to popular belief, most critics go into engaging with anyone's art with the purest of intentions — and oftentimes, it's people who have longstanding relationships with an artist's work who are able to offer the most insight by holding them to a higher standard than the average person.

Case in point: our recent review of the Black Keys' Ohio Players, which got 4/10. Not great! This one offended at least a handful of you on Twitter, and apparently it went so far as to offend the band themselves.

A few days ago, the long-running duo of Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach stopped by KROQ's Helpful Honda Sound Space in Los Angeles, CA, to celebrate the album's release with an interview and live performance for the studio audience. When host Nicole Alvarez kicked off the interview segment by congratulating the Black Keys on a job well done, they revealed that they had actually just been backstage reading negative reviews of the record.

"Exclaim! Magazine really didn't like it," Carney said, prompting a chorus of boos from the crowd and Alvarez saying that she will fight us. Name the time and place!

"Oh, I just Googled the guy," Carney continued, referring to Exclaim! contributor Matthew Teklemariam. "He lives in Manitoba, so he gets a pass." Despite the province's ability to confuse Eddie Vedder, they do actually have internet access up there (and like, culture, but who's counting?).

Watch the Black Keys review our review — which we thank them for engaging with critically, a sure sign of respect, as well as their decision against doxxing the writer — below at around the one-minute mark. You can also watch the Exclaim! staff review their review of our review below that. 


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