The Black Keys playfully announced their new album on boxer Mike Tyson’s Twitter account and teased it with a video of a hypnotist played by an actor. But maybe that was all just to distract from the music, which is sub-par Black Keys. The band went into the studio with no songs and what they hashed out is often lightweight. They again enlisted Danger Mouse, who co-writes all 11 tracks but leavens most of them with excessive keyboards that cut against Dan Auerbach’s guitar. The Black Keys started in a basement as a primal, bluesy group; but compared to their debut, “The Big Come Up,” this new one feels more like “The Big Comedown.” Fans who loved the band’s early recordings will not enjoy the pop-disco of “Fever” nor the slickness of “Year in Review.” The best tunes are the first and last in “Weight of Love” (where Auerbach unleashes a two-minute guitar solo of vintage psychedelia) and the Stones-like punch of “Gotta Get Away.” Otherwise, most songs merely drift away. (Out Tuesday).
ESSENTIAL: “Weight of Love”
The Black Keys play TD Garden on Sept. 21.