El Camino (CD) The Black Keys
Barry C Chung
The Black Keys' seventh studio album is a tribute to America's best: the music is a throwback to good old American rock 'n' roll, and the album title to American cars - more specifically the General Motors vehicle produced from the 1960s to the late 1980s.
El Camino is a classic rock album that sounds almost as if it were created in the golden age of rock 'n' roll. In that sense, it's as if the album is only 50 years late to the party - that is, fashionably late.
The first single, Lonely Boy, is an absolute gem. With its psychedelic keyboard, anthemic feel and catchy lyrics, it'll have you singing along to the chorus. Sister has a stripped-down simplicity about it, making it one of the more contemporary tracks on the album. The vocal-heavy Little Black Submarine starts softly then morphs into a guitar-packed, hard-rock track. Moneymaker has perhaps the sexiest guitar riff you've heard in a while.
The vocals have an uncanny resemblance to Jim Morrison of the Doors (if you don't know who that is, I mean it as a compliment).
The pride of Akron, Ohio (though now based in Nashville), the Black Keys have set the bar high for rock 'n' roll enthusiasts. They've put out an 11-track album that will be talked about for a long time. And, in the process, they prove that rock 'n' roll is not dead. Not by a long shot.