The Black Keys' El Camino: A First Listen

Categories: First Listens

"Sister"
Driving psychedelia? Slowed-down Stooges? Dirtied-down funk? Does any of this sound interesting to you? Does any of it sound new? And you know gutbucket singing? Auerbach's is made of nylon.

"Hell of a Season"
Patrick Carney stomps pretty hard here, and it's the first or second song where each chord change isn't totally predictable, so congratulations, they're making strides toward not boring me to death. But "Season"/"Reason" is a hook rhyme? Didn't making Blakroc teach them anything about rapping?

"Stop Stop"
Awesome, finally some Blue Cheer-style-intro psych garage. Sounds like the best song by a big margin. Falsetto chorus that I bet someone will compare to Motown. That's fine and all but, well, "fine and all" is the curse of this band.

"Nova Baby"
As they drop the "riff," songs they can only get more interesting, which means the latter tracks take on more personality (like ? and the Mysterians), the occasional soul reference, and just general American junk without much grease or oil in its stiff-necked ways. The bridge and organ coda are nice, but every time these guys try to shake up the ordinary they somehow end up sounding more ordinary. The second half of El Camino is more tuneful, but you're better off listening to Elizabeth Cook's "El Camino" eleven times instead -- the song where some idiot with a pervmobile drops a Quaalude in her beer and she runs her hands through his mullet anyway.

"Mind Eraser"
Just to make this clear to the rockists reading: this album has less surprise and adventure than Maroon 5's It Won't Be Soon for Long or Miley Cyrus' Breakout. How did we let rock devolve to the point where corporate pop is more adventurous, juicy, and twisted? "Oh don't let it be over," chants Auerbach horrifyingly. Meanwhile, I'd love a mind eraser.

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Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown, follow Dan Weiss @Kissoutthejams, and like us at Facebook.com/SFAllShookDown.


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13 comments
Firm_car
Firm_car

tbk suck, the reviewer is right

CJB
CJB

Wow.  This may be the most hateful review I have ever read.  Ever heard of constructive criticism?  All you've given us is a worthless, pathetic, pile of SHIT talking.  I hope you don't get paid for this.  You've made Pitchfork seem soft and are a mega-asshole even by their standards.  And to anyone else who cries about this album not being creative or inventive enough, who cares!  I don't think this was ever promoted as a genre crushing release.  Let's try to stop taking things so seriously and enjoy it for what it is; a solid (pop) rock 'n' roll album with a good mix of clean pop hooks and dirty guitar licks that makes you want to get out of your seat and move a little.

aa111111
aa111111

Seriously, get some better taste in music man. It's kinda pittiful.

Yousuckdick
Yousuckdick

does anyone have an address for dan weiss? seriously, i'm down to murder him for the cause. if anyone can give me his address that would be great. (not kidding)

Durnsy
Durnsy

Seems every other review I've read about this album is opposite of your point of view, maybe your not cut out to be a music critic.

Tian Gao
Tian Gao

we don't want creativity we want to fucking rock and this does it. i don't need "vital" or "lush“

Leila-Anne Cavé
Leila-Anne Cavé

I wish people would stop jocking the Black Keys.  I find their music enjoyable, but I don't get what all the fuss is about.  Their music tremendously lacks creativity.  Thanks for the article.

Thomjonas
Thomjonas

you're what's wrong with all of North America

Thomjonas
Thomjonas

fuck you I hate you, the black keys are smarter than you

Yousuckdick
Yousuckdick

faggot piece of shit watch your back dude i'm bringing knives to sf

CBW
CBW

You're an idiot.  The record is amazing.  People like you write what you write so that others can tell you how stupid you are.  Mission accomplished.

BK for life.

ns151
ns151

Looks like we have a hater in the house. Making un-witty snide comments every sentence doesn't make you sound cool and edgy, Dan- it makes you sound like a wannabe-Pitchfork- writer jackass. 

Aalonzo2
Aalonzo2

you're a fucking moron.  the Keys have been doing their thing for 10 years.  Their success is a result of hard work and an undeniable sound.  Seems like your hatin' says more about you than the Black Keys' music.

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