El Camino - The Black Keys
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 209 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 209

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  1. Dec 6, 2011
    10
    Catchy and captivating; this is the best rock album of 2011 by far. The Black Keys have stepped into the space left by The White Stripes, and established their role as the best blues/rock band out there at the moment.
  2. Dec 7, 2011
    10
    Lots of good songs on here, they all kick ass in so many ways. This album proves that there is still good rock and roll out there. Thank you Black Keys for making awesome music, top 5 album of the year.
  3. Dec 6, 2011
    10
    This album kicks so much ass I can't see straight. Love their old stuff but come on, the black keys have never had swagger like this before, how can you not love it?
  4. Sep 10, 2012
    9
    a great album by a genuine and hard working band who deserve all the success they have.

    little black submarines was a personal album favorite, a quality rock song by all means.
  5. Dec 6, 2011
    10
    El Camino is a tremendous follow up to the Black Keys last album, Brothers, and is just as different as Brothers was from the preceding Attack & Release. El Camino has a quickened pace and upbeat vibe to its rhythm, and the band continues to use keyboard and bass to great effect. Every track is a pleasure to listen with a number of them being single worthy. "Gold on the Ceiling", "Hell of a Season", "Run Right Back", "Sister", "Lonely Boy", and "Money Maker" alone would have the album a top any other rock effort to come out this year. The Black Keys continue to grow as a group and seem to show no signs of slowing down their innovation. Expand
  6. Feb 18, 2012
    9
    I personally think El Camino is The Black Keys best album. "Brothers was a great record when it came out but a lot of the tracks I felt were just fillers. Each track on "El Camino" really standout and is very consistent. The opening track and the number one single "Lonely Boy" really launches this album into blues rock heaven. All In All, "El Camino" is The Black Keys best album and one of the best rock duos out right now. A- Expand
  7. Dec 30, 2011
    9
    In all honesty, I was very skeptical when I had first heard that The Black Keys were already finished with their follow-up to their breakthrough album, Brothers. I had doubts that the album may have been rushed, and that not enough heart would be put into it. But I was wrong. El Camino is a frantic, fast paced rock that captures a sense of nostalgia that many bands fail at achieving today. Although it may feel shorter than their previous efforts, it might be the most enjoyable album from 2011, if not their boldest works to date. Expand
  8. Dec 6, 2011
    10
    My head is getting sore from how many eargasms I've already had listening to this album. There isn't much else to say, really. I could go into a deep analysis about what makes each song great for myself, but why waste your time reading that when you could be just listening to the songs! The same Black Keys you know and love but with some new and creative twists, like I've come to expect from every album. They might not be redefining a genre with every new album, but they are doing something amazing to say the least. Expand
  9. Dec 7, 2011
    9
    "El Camino", like a prize fighter that has decided to drop a weight class, is leaner but packs every bit as much punch as "Brothers". The Black Keys, with "Camino", keep their eyes on the road to music immortality. And the only direction this band is going is forward. "El Camino" is certainly one of 2011's finest rock albums, but also the duo's finest effort to date.
  10. Jan 29, 2012
    9
    Defiantly one of the best rock albums of 2011. What a sound, "Lonely Boy" hits you hard first, you think maybe that's going to take away from the next 10 tracks, oh no, it only comes at you harder. It's almost too much to handle, but its astonishing what they put together here. Put this in and get ready for a great ride.
  11. Dec 6, 2011
    10
    Raw blues rock that you can easily move your hips to. The Black Keys' 7th full length album 'El Camino' has such a powerful electric feel in every song, it becomes addicting with every listen. Their thunderous riffs and boisterous drumming maintains an organic rhythm all throughout, which is the reason why the album is rockin'. Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are proving that sacrificing blood, sweat and tears for their work can take you places. Expand
  12. Dec 20, 2011
    10
    I really enjoy this album ,they keep evolving in a way that will still keep the old fans coming back for more. One of the best albums of this year by far . I wish more groups would be so free with how they make music .
  13. Dec 10, 2011
    9
    "El Camino" is the best Black Keys album yet. You don't get as much of the deep soul-ish singing as you had on "Brothers", but the energy and passion is huge. They put a lot into this album, and it sounds awesome. The songs drive, and the production is really perfect: polished but still raw and exciting. It sounds like The Black Keys, and it's a great album.
  14. Dec 8, 2011
    10
    From the first time I heard "Strange Times" on the radio, The Black Keys has gone from being a popular choice of music during my parties to being one of my top favourite bands of all time. El Camino is truly a great album, and while I'm not by any means a music critic, I think this is a great addition to their already awesome resume.
  15. Dec 6, 2011
    10
    Amazing. The Black Keys are not just a band but a blessing on the ears and hearts of the people who live on Earth. A true rock band. From the guitar riffs to the incredible drum beats, there is nothing wrong with this musical art piece. In the past I wasn't a large Black Key's fan, but after this album, I could be one of the Largest ones out there.
  16. Dec 31, 2011
    9
    Purist fans of the two piece Black Keys have expressed their doubts about the latest, and possibly best of the Black Keys contributions to R&B based white rock - but they are wrong. This is one fabulous disc.

    Building on the expansion in Brothers - a great record by my standards - adding a bass and keyboards, and a new producer -not only does not hurt the Black Keys, it makes them a great
    normal band. Dan writes, sings and plays great songs, and Patrick adds his drumming, production and sense of insanity to one of the great iconoclastic bands of the last decade.

    From the kickoff track, Lonely Boy,the album shows its wares. It fills the ears - Stop Stop, Nova Baby, Run Right Back. Where are the dud tracks, I kept asking myself? Nowhere on this record is there a dull moment, an unmemorable riff, a foot placed wrong. Yet it still has some of the rough edges of earlier recordings, the unpolished sound is still there.

    Fresh as a daisy - and in the UK in February, this is a must own, must see band
    Expand
  17. Jan 4, 2012
    10
    Just when I was starting to lose hope in the dying music industry, I discovered the Black Keys. And incredible rock duo that has a garage/indie/blues rock sound to their music. I have bought two of their albums after having only known them for about 2 weeks and they are both incredible. The first album I bought was Rubber Factory, which I really liked. It had awesome guitar riffs, good singing, and some of the most catchiest songs I've heard. I was humming most of the songs for days after that. I thought that the Black Keys couldn't top their previous efforts, until I bought El Camino. El Camino is just stunning. So far the stand outs are Lonely Boy, Gold on the Ceiling and Little Black Submarines. The Black Keys are the shining light in the dying music industry, and I really can't wait to see what the future holds for this incredible group. If you haven't checked out The Black Keys, then you are missing out on the best thing to happen to music in a long time. When most people look back on 2011, they think of terrible artists like LMFAO, Katy Perry, Maroon 5. But when I look back on the music of last year, I'll think of El Camino by The Black Keys, Foster the People, Red Hot Chili Peppers ( I know their latest stuff wasn't as good as their old stuff, but it was still good) and The Foo Fighters. I love the Black Keys and after barely knowing them for that long, I am absolutely obsessed with them. If you've lost hope in the music industry, well I've found the artist that will get your hopes back up- The Black Keys. Collapse
  18. Jan 5, 2012
    10
    This album is spot-on spectacular. I've heard and read a lot of things about how the record is too poppy, overproduced or to some degree less down-and-dirty raw than their previous efforts. Yeah, maybe. So what? Every last song is quality rocker, sing along catchy, and as true as ever to the spirit of rock n' roll. It's far more accessible than any of the Key's previous work, and I think it's a good thing; it provides an incentive to check out their earlier material. Not to mention that these guys are crankin' out records at a pace far faster than many bands these days, and that's something fans can be happy about. Can't wait to hear what they'll come out with next. Expand
  19. Jan 28, 2012
    10
    While slightly more mainstream than their previous offerings, El Camino is still has the basic groove and appreciation for blues that makes The Black Keys great. This definitely rivals Wasting Light for best rock album of 2011.
  20. Feb 17, 2012
    9
    Brothers had soul,this one is straight up rock and roll.This cemented the Black keys as an arena rock band. Lonely boy is a kick in the balls,in your face gas pedal to the floor rock and roll. When I hear on the radio I can't help to go way above the speed limit. Gold on the celing sounds like a classic rock stomper that I've known my whole life. The whole album is great. Little Black Submarines is my favorite though it's hard to pick a favorite this one stands out. Everyone says it's Stairway meets Mary Jane's Last Dance.So it's two legendary songs combined with a Black Keys swagger,and Dan's crooning voice.Me likey. If I chose a least favorite it'd be dead and gone.Nova baby sounds like an MGMT song,but better since it's done by the black keys.El Camino is a rock n roll record,and how a rock record should be. Pat's pounding beats,and Dan's scorching solos,and catchy hooks is what rock and roll is all about. This is good and dare i say it,groovy rust belt rock and roll. Though it's got a the band's '94 Chrysler Town and Country on the cover, and not an actual El Camino just proves that the Keys are a a couple of bad asses who make kick ass garage tunes,and can do whatever the hell they want. Expand
  21. Jul 9, 2012
    10
    Incredible, The Black Keys retain their trademark sound while yet providing a fresh sound. They've thrown in their catchy guitar riffs song after song. A simply great album, I especially enjoyed "Little Black Submarines", the harder rock song in the album. I enjoyed every song, it's hard to believe it's their 7th album.
  22. Nov 9, 2012
    9
    El Camino is a genre-bender that kicks hard. It's also The Black Keys' best album yet.
  23. Dec 3, 2012
    10
    Interesting and unique, especially since there is only two guys in the band. They have the title of best rock band in my opinion, combining modern technology without losing that rock and roll feel. Lonely Boy is my fav song in a looooong time.
  24. Feb 19, 2013
    9
    One of the best Blues-Rock albums ever written. Funky, emotional songs make this album to the greatest album this year. There are some songs too similar to each other but it is not that a big of deal. A must buy (only 8$)!.
  25. Dec 29, 2012
    10
    Gold on the Ceiling. Lonely Boy. Stop Stop. Mind Eraser. Little Black Submarines. All great songs. All unique and captivating, catchy and and brilliant. I'm yet to find a better Black Keys album. This was outstanding.
  26. Feb 6, 2013
    9
    It's not Brothers, but it's still great. It's just raw rock and roll power, and we expect nothing less. Certainly worth a listen, one of 2011's best albums.
  27. Apr 8, 2013
    9
    This album is amazing, catchy and exciting. Most of the song are very good and there aren't bad tracks. I really love Lonely Boy, Gold on the Ceiling and also Little Black Submarines (it reminds Foo Fighters' Echoes Silence Patience & Grace). One of the best of 2011, even if not on the same level of Social Distortion's Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, Foo Fighters' Wasting Light and R.E.M.'s Collapse into Now, which are the best in my opinion. Expand
  28. Sep 27, 2014
    10
    I am not exaggerating, El Camino is literally one of the greatest rock albums to ever be created. Every single track takes you off to some indescribably happy place. El Camino is the definition of rock.
  29. Dec 9, 2013
    9
    This album has a different sound and that's interesting. The Black Keys had a good work again. Little Black Submarines took first place at my favourite song list of 2012. I hope they'll give us another fascinating album.
  30. Jun 1, 2014
    10
    No matter what happens, nobody will ever deny that this indeed deserves to be hailed the best album of the year in the Grammys. Because, simply because, it is.
  31. Jul 24, 2014
    9
    Welcome to the Black Keys era. The band have bettered their breakout hit Brothers with this record and they did so without trying to replicate the same formula. I can see El Camino becoming an influential album further down the road. There are no duds on this album and its well worth a listen! I'm hoping that Turn Blue will be just as good as the last 2 because that could really send the duo into true rock stardom! Expand
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. May 31, 2012
    100
    It's never just meat and potatoes. It's more like eating bone marrow in a fashionable restaurant - earthy, carnivorous but still beautifully designed and knowingly conceptualized. [Jan 2012, p.88]
  2. Jan 17, 2012
    65
    With El Camino, the Black Keys have essentially twenty minutes of worthwhile music, at least as far as partying is concerned.
  3. Jan 3, 2012
    80
    This is a rip-roaring, multi-faceted rock fest. [17 Dec 2011, p.52]