Skip to main content

Review: The Black Keys' 'El Camino'

By Melissa Maerz, EW.com
updated 10:16 AM EST, Tue December 6, 2011
"El Camino" is the Black Keys' seventh album.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "El Camino" is Black Keys' awesomely down-and-dirty seventh album
  • The new album trades the soulful stylings of "Brothers" for harder-driving, faster-riffing rock & roll
  • The opener, ''Lonely Boy,'' is all quick-shimmying drums and raunchy guitars

(EW.com) -- You can take the band out of the garage, but you can't take the garage out of the band. That's the message behind the Black Keys' awesomely down-and-dirty seventh album, which caps off a stellar year that found the Ohio blues-rock duo winning three Grammys for their 2010 breakthrough, "Brothers," and fielding offers from Robert Plant to play bass for the band.

At a time like this, guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney might be forgiven for trading their minimalist sound for something a little more, well, maximum. Instead, they've teamed up with longtime producer Danger Mouse to do what they do best: make a small-room racket that sounds massive enough for a bigger-is-better world.

'Once Upon a Time' recap: Becoming David Nolan

"El Camino" trades the soulful stylings of "Brothers" for harder-driving, faster-riffing rock & roll: Opener ''Lonely Boy'' is all quick-shimmying drums and raunchy guitars; ''Gold on the Ceiling,'' with its swarm-of-bees organs and acid-trip gospel harmonies, could be a lost Nuggets gem.

'The Good Wife' recap: The Missing

The best surprise, though, is edge-of-sanity epic ''Little Black Submarines,'' a crate-digger thriller that starts as a quiet acoustic hymn, then explodes. They don't make vintage folk-rock heavy metal like they used to -- if they ever used to. And that's a very good thing. A-

See full article at EW.com.

CLICK HERE to Try 2 RISK FREE issues of Entertainment Weekly

© 2011 Entertainment Weekly and Time Inc. All rights reserved.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT