Wednesday, January 25, 2012

CD Review: The Black Keys Ride To Success With "El Camino"

It’s hard to believe that The Black Keys already have seven studio albums, including their latest release “El Camino.” Their popularity has grown with each album, highlighted by last year’s Grammy winning album “Brothers.” But, it seems that 2012 is gearing up to be an even bigger year for the duo, beginning with them appearing on the covers of Rolling Stone and Relix magazine and also selling out Madison Square Garden. Who knows how big this can get?


The new album, “El Camino” contains over a dozen pictures of beat-up vans, similar to the one The Black Keys used to use in their early days. The duo of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney try to bring up the past with the sound on this new release. Beginning with simple guitar, the lead single “Lonely Boy” uses a shuffle, ZZ Top-style drumming to offset the repetitive fuzz-guitar riff and it all gets highlighted nicely by some keyboards. This is such a simple, but effective formula for The Black Keys. The addition of back-up singers on “Dead and Gone” and “Nova Baby” give the songs a fuller, more complete sound. The duo only slows down for a moment in “Little Black Submarines” which is their attempt at a folk-song that has Auerbach peeling-off some great guitar licks. They blast to the past with the British Invasion-sounding “Money Maker,” the raw, 60’s garage beats of “Run Right Back” and the funk-filled “Sister.” The production of Danger Mouse is heard throughout this album, especially in the dance-pop sounding “Stop Stop” and the bluesy album closer “Mind Eraser.”


The album debuted at #2 upon its release in December and made many critics Top Albums of 2011 list. The Black Keys are currently on tour over in Europe, but will be returning to the states at the beginning of March. For more information on this amazing duo, please check out theblackkeys.com.

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