Review: The Black Keys – El Camino

Photo credit: Danny Clinch

The Black Keys El Camino debuts at number 2 while boycotting Spotify.

[By Franceasca Seiden]

Let me begin by saying The Black Keys are hands down without a doubt
and no argument necessary one of the best bands to experience live.
Their energy and musicianship is mirrored back on stage. Their
controversial recent decision made by vocalist/guitarist Dan Auerbach
and drummer/producer Patrick Carney to boycott El Camino’s release on
the ever popular streaming site Spotify might be a reason they debuted
at #2 on the charts. 

Some argue that The Black Keys might be selling
themselves short to new fans, while the others argue they don’t need
to gain new followers by using Spotify. Word of mouth for this multi –
talented band will do just fine.

Back to El Camino, the 7th studio album by three-time Grammy winners from
Akron, Ohio, which the rock duo reportedly recorded in Dan’s new studio in
Nashville, Tennessee. They released their first album in 2001 and have
been making their way as a music festival favorite for some time now
as well as a plethora of talk show appearances, most recently Steve
Colbert’s Colbert Report and SNL with host Steve Buscemi.

El Camino is strictly Rock ‘n Roll, without straying too far from that
familiar Black Keys garage, blues mix we have come to love and
identify them with. With the skills of mega producer Danger Mouse the
eleven track album is equal parts excellent instrumental and words,
accompanied by monster guitar solos (a la Jack White, early White
Stripes), pulsating drum beats, and weighty lyrics, which make El Camino
another Black Keys classic. In relatable adult terms, El Camino is
about heartbreak, disappointment, rapture, and addictive

The rock duo simply captures this type of angst in songs like “Nova Baby”:
“You don’t know what you want/ You wasted all my precious time.”

My personal favorite “Run Right Back” speaks of the tribulations of
being involved in the wrong relationship and not able to let go;
basically addicted to someone who is just bad for you.

She holds it all above us/ That pretty head of hers /oh It comes
screaming out In an electric shout /She’s the worst thing I’ve been
addicted to / Oh no Oh no Oh no I run right back/ Run right back to
her I’m going to jump the track I run right back I’m sure/

Like the last track “Mind Eraser” says, “Don’t let it be over, I
can’t let go.”
 The feeling is the same when the album is over, so just set
your iTunes on repeat and listen to El Camino again.

1. Lonely Boy
2. Dead and Gone
3. Gold on the Ceiling
4. Little Black Submarines
5. Money Maker
6. Run Right Back
7. Sister
8. Hell of a Season
9. Stop Stop
10. Nova Baby
11. Mind Eraser