Saturday, January 14, 2012

Review: The Black Keys - El Camino (4 Stars)

Alright, so playing catchup here because I ACTUALLY WROTE A FULL REVIEW and then didn't put it up here.

Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are the hard-working rockers that could. With a modest beginning ten years ago and a steady rise to both critical acclaim and, eventually, mainstream popularity (not to mention Grammy awards), you could almost consider the Black Keys the musical manifestation of the American dream. Their determination and consistency make them easy to root for, but more importantly, they're making rock-'n'-roll that people actually listen to. Perhaps that doesn't mean much to everyone, but consider, for a moment, the bands currently occupying space on the Billboard Top 200 Chart that even remotely resemble rock music: Nickleback, Coldplay, and…Florence + the Machine, maybe? While you could argue that Jack White helps the cause by continuing to release records through his various projects, the point that popular rock-'n'-roll is scarce these days is all too easy to make. I give that context not as an excuse to continue my tradition of heaping praise upon the Black Keys, but to offer an estimation that the band's latest record, El Camino, is the perfect rock-'n'-roll album for 2011. (Continue reading @ In Review Online)