“El Camino” drives smoothly for Black Keys

The rock duo may just be the best tag team in music today.

And with an album like “El Camino” to call their own, the Black Keys may have hit their best work yet. Serving as the band’s seventh studio effort, “El Camino” cleans up for last year’s break-out album, “Brothers.”

Despite putting out five albums that kind of fell under the radar for popular music, the Black Keys got the recognition they finally deserved with last year’s effort. Winning three Grammy’s, including Best Alternative Music Album, and being nominated for two more awards, “Brothers,” put the Keys on the map.

Now a year and a half later, “El Camino” looks to keep the run going for the Black Keys.

There is one thing the Black Keys do, and they do it oh so well and that’s play their rock & roll straight. There is nothing fancy on “El Camino” or any magical journeys through elaborate compositions but a straight edgy rock that would make AC/DC proud.

The 11-song album starts off with the band’s first hit single, “Lonely Boy.” Already getting ridiculous radio play as well as being used on multiple TV stations, “Lonely Boy” is the duo’s most identifiable song to date.

But this isn’t a one-hit wonder album like much of the popular crap out there today. Though they haven’t been dubbed singles yet, “Run Right Back” and “Gold on the Ceiling” are on deck to be two more powerhouse singles to really drive this album to the next level.

Like every album by every good band, there’s that one song that just captures the listener and becomes constantly played over and over again.

For this record, it’s “Little Black Submarines.” In an uncharacteristic twist, “Little Black Submarines” shies away from the power, hard rock blues that the Keys are famous for. Instead, you get lulled into a folky, acoustic tune.

But before you can get settled in, the song reverts back to the familiar hard drums and gritty electric guitar that Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are famous for.

The album’s bassiest award easily goes to “Run Right Back.” The constant thump also wins this song the Most Likely to Get You Caught Speeding Award.

“Money Maker” and “Hell of a Season” do their parts to not get lost on an album filled with quality tunes.

The album is one of the final best albums to hit stores before the year ends. Will it be a Grammy nomination for next year? Most likely not. But people will be forgetting about 2011’s weak year of music when they put in this record.

“El Camino” is due out tomorrow, December 6.


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