Listen to 405 Radio
The Black Keys - El Camino

The Black Keys - El Camino

by , 05 December 2011

Let's get one thing clear from the start. This is not Brothers. Don't be expecting such an accessible album. If all your love of The Black Keys is based on that album and not their earlier releases, you can skip straight to the last paragraph and make your mind up about whether you'll be purchasing this album.

Now that's out of the way, let's get on with a review the eleven track El Camino. Opener 'Lonely Boy' is the lead single and a great example of what the expect from the album. Heading back to the Wild West of Ohio with more than a touch of the blues, this could easily have come off The Big Come Up if it wasn't for the professional, high quality production. Dan Auerbach's voice is perfect for this type of track

As you delve further into the album, the occasional stand out track pops up. 'Sister' and 'Stop Stop' are both classic Black Keys and slightly poppy. Even on these songs though the blues sound is never far away. 'Hell of a Season' is an absolutely brilliant way to spend 3 minutes 45 seconds of your life. I almost want to write a screenplay right now just so that I can see it translated onto the big screen and feature a scene summing up what happened during my fictional Autumn scored by this very track.

This is a good album. As good as the wonderful Brothers? No. Longer term fans will love this. Completists will want this. I love this. I want this. Brothers just made me love The Black Keys even more than I already did. The key there though is "already did". If you "already did" love them, you'll love this. If you loved Brothers, but didn't really get turned on when you explored their back catalogue, you're probably not going to love this. This is The Black Keys though. This is what they're good at, and why they'll continue to make fantastic music. If I was giving this a mark out of ten for myself, it would be a couple of points higher. For a mark on a digital music magazine read by many though, it can be regarded as nothing more than above average.

Rating: 6.5/10

Purchase and listen

Related Reviews

  • The Dø – Both Ways Open Jaws

    The Dø – Both Ways Open Jaws

    by Andy Johnson

    What's next for an artist after they propel their sometimes recklessly experimental début album to the top of a national chart? Back in 2008, Franco-Finnish art-pop duo The Dø achieved exactly that when their deeply flawed, but occasionally inspired, first album A Mouthful became the first English-language record by a French act to hit #1 in France. [read more]

  • Darren Hayman - The Ship’s Piano

    Darren Hayman - The Ship’s Piano

    by Jonathan Greer

    It has been fairly well documented that in November 2009 Darren Hayman was badly beaten up whilst on a short tour of the UK, and he suffered a fractured skull and a period in hospital as a result. The fall-out from that incident has not dented his gift for prolific songwriting – this album is an additional piece of work to '31 Songs', his successful song-a-day effort from January this year – but the attack did give him partial deafness and an inability to cope with loud transient sounds. [read more]

  • The Spits - The Spits V

    The Spits - The Spits V

    by Chris Woolfrey

    ‘Last Man on Earth’, the final song on the new, fifth album by The Spits, is a good example of the limits and strengths that come with genre pre-conceptions. Played at a high tempo, the vocals are as deep and dirty as the rest of the album, the drums frantic; it’s punk. [read more]

  • Windy & Carl - We Will Always Be

    Windy & Carl - We Will Always Be

    by Jonathan Greer

    For those of you who don't know, Carl plays guitar and Windy plays bass, and this story does explain why this album is covered in guitar textures from start to finish, with bass and vocals perhaps added later in the mix. [read more]

Comments

Follow Us

Recommended Posts

Popular Posts

Mailing List

Sign up to our weekly mailing list.

Around The Web