Magic Potion

  • Record Label: Nonesuch
  • Release Date: Sep 12, 2006
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Entertainment Weekly
    91
    Looser, but no less excellent, than their last collection. [15 Sep 2006, p.72]
  2. The group sounds as wonderfully debauched, degenerate and dejected as ever.
  3. Paste Magazine
    80
    This is the band's best yet. [Sep 2006, p.73]
  4. Urb
    80
    They take their place among the scruffiest, ugliest and most crowd-pleasing bad guys the West has ever spat out. [Sep 2006, p.131]
  5. It may take a while to sink in, but "Magic Potion" enhances its effects with every listen.
  6. This is vulgar music, completely unsentimental or nostalgic but with a deep, wild, and tenacious heart; it's spooky, un-caged, and frighteningly descriptive of our time and place.
  7. Throughout the record, the Black Keys don’t rock the boat much with their style, just continuing to hone it and make it all come together.
  8. There's nothing surprising about what the Keys do here, but it's seldom less than satisfying, either.
  9. Rolling Stone
    70
    The sound may be retro, but pure blues rock of this caliber is really timeless. [21 Sep 2006, p.84]
  10. Magic Potion never really manages to distinguish itself as an album; there are a number of excellent songs, but even with quite a few listens I never get the idea of the thing working as a collective whole.
  11. Magnet
    70
    More than ever, Magic Potion hears the duo transitioning from blues to blues-based. [#73, p.87]
  12. At this point, homage is almost expected of the Keys, but in doing so, the band is starting to dilute the "Heavy Soul" and Thickfreakness of their earlier material, as well.
  13. Magic Potion is a record where overwhelming competence meets measured restraint, but for me, sacrilege trumps sincerity, and I'd rather hear tuneful blasphemy than a tasteful snoozer of an album.
  14. Great in parts though it is, Magic Potion isn’t quite the album to attract a raft of newcomers to The Black Keys’ archaic rock.
  15. Mojo
    60
    Anyone possessing their previous output will find little in the way of reinvention. [Oct 2006, p.96]
  16. New Musical Express (NME)
    60
    They wisely avoid toying with any Darkness-style irony, but the Keys' insistence on authenticity does leave the album a little flat and humourless. [2 Sep 2006, p.21]
  17. Spin
    60
    If the Black Keys sped up a little, their stodginess might feel more songful. [Oct 2006, p.94]
  18. Uncut
    60
    The duo can't help sounding like they're holding back a little. [Oct 2006, p.99]
  19. Always a wee bit more clever than anyone gave them credit for, the Keys are now a pretty good Zeppelin knockoff for the indie crowd, and little more.
  20. Blender
    50
    Only the relatively sprightly "Just Got to Be" and the haunted-house voodoo of "Strange Desire" cut through the mire. [Oct 2006, p.130]
  21. As the album progresses, it becomes harder and harder to distinguish between one song and the next.
  22. Q Magazine
    40
    The Black Keys may have as much in common with the conventional '70s blues-rock of Canned Heat and Free as they do with the more left-field THe White Stripes. [Oct 2006, p.118]
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 75 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Jul 5, 2013
    6
    Magic Potion feels like a step back. It reminds me of their first album, The Big Come up. It is good but its standard fare blues that easilyMagic Potion feels like a step back. It reminds me of their first album, The Big Come up. It is good but its standard fare blues that easily fades in the background. There just isn't enough going on to knock your socks off like the production and melodies on Rubber Factory. It isnt weird enough to notice like Chulahoma EP. And it isn't brash enough to notice like ThickFreakness.

    Theres a couple stand out tracks: Your Touch and The Flame. The rest is pretty take it or leave it.

    Here's to hoping they add to their sound and take some chances next time around.
    Full Review »
  2. Jan 4, 2012
    9
    I don't understand all the low reviews for this album, Magic Potion is a great album, and is a turning point for the BK's as far as theirI don't understand all the low reviews for this album, Magic Potion is a great album, and is a turning point for the BK's as far as their sound. Yea it's not their best album, but it's far better than El Camino and Attack and Release. Full Review »
  3. j30
    Nov 29, 2011
    5
    Magic Potion feels flat, nothing stands out that is neither musically groundbreaking or just fun to listen to.