El Camino

  • Record Label: Nonesuch
  • Release Date: Dec 6, 2011
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 250 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 250
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  1. Dec 20, 2011
    6
    By this point the Keys really needed to change up their sound, their flavor. They did that with El Camino. But they added sugar. If only they had added spice instead.
  2. 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?
  3. Dec 12, 2011
    8
    They've evolved their sound just enough to sound fresh while still maintaining that Black Keys sound I know and love. It's another step away from their bluesy roots of Thickfreakness and Rubber Factory and more towards the sly grooviness of the Danger Mouse era of Attack & Release and Brothers. Two things to note about this album: the songs are more bouncy, more catchy, more accessibleThey've evolved their sound just enough to sound fresh while still maintaining that Black Keys sound I know and love. It's another step away from their bluesy roots of Thickfreakness and Rubber Factory and more towards the sly grooviness of the Danger Mouse era of Attack & Release and Brothers. Two things to note about this album: the songs are more bouncy, more catchy, more accessible than any of their material to date. Also, there's no filler on this album - every track is solid through and through. Overall, a highly recommended album, from a long time Keys fan. Expand
  4. Dec 30, 2011
    7
    In the wake of the best album of the band's career, they make a strong but short effort to follow. This album has its moments, and it will readily welcome listeners old and new, but the depth of the music and the lyrics have appeared to suffer slightly with this effort. The sound is phenomenal however, as producer Danger Mouse delivers his signature tight groove to the table, cementing theIn the wake of the best album of the band's career, they make a strong but short effort to follow. This album has its moments, and it will readily welcome listeners old and new, but the depth of the music and the lyrics have appeared to suffer slightly with this effort. The sound is phenomenal however, as producer Danger Mouse delivers his signature tight groove to the table, cementing the talent of the duo perfectly, similar to the single Tighten Up he produced on brothers. All in all, this album is a standout for the year of 2011, but it should not surpass the sheer brilliance exhibited on their last effort. Looking forward to seeing this done in concert in May. Expand
  5. 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.
  6. Jan 30, 2012
    8
    A good follow-up and changeup to Brothers. That Black Keys sound is still there but modified from Brothers. Favorite tracks: Gold on the Ceiling, Nova Baby, Lonely Boy, Little Black Submarines. Anybody notice how Little Black Submarines 2nd half sounds like Mary Jane's Last Dance by Tom Petty?
  7. 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 ofEl 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
  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 expectMy 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. Mar 21, 2012
    8
    This is an old school rock record. Its guitars, drums, bass and vocals and not a whole lot else. This record is somewhere between a White Stripes album and an album by The Kills with the Black Keys own stamp on things. Unless you've been living under a rock you'll have heard Lonely Boy, which is a good indication of what the rest of the record sounds like. If won't change your life, butThis is an old school rock record. Its guitars, drums, bass and vocals and not a whole lot else. This record is somewhere between a White Stripes album and an album by The Kills with the Black Keys own stamp on things. Unless you've been living under a rock you'll have heard Lonely Boy, which is a good indication of what the rest of the record sounds like. If won't change your life, but its an enjoyable record, full of great hooks and slick riffs. Expand
  10. 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 ofI 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
  11. 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.
  12. j30
    Jan 11, 2012
    8
    This is the sound of a band hitting their stride, an excellent release. 38 minutes of pure blues/rock bliss with so much swagger, it puts a big smile on your face.
  13. 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.
  14. 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 sacrificingRaw 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
  15. Dec 18, 2011
    8
    When bands release great and succesful albums, you never know what to expect of their next one. Luckily, after â
  16. 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 .
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Feb 8, 2012
    8
    I am a complete hip hop head, I still enjoy good music when I hear it. And as far as rock/blues goes right now it doesn't get better than The Black Keys.
  20. 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
    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
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  21. 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, goodJust 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. Expand
  22. 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 thinkThis 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
  23. 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.
  24. Feb 2, 2012
    8
    I have been a keys fan for years. They continue to impress with every album. Although not as solid as Brothers, still an amazing album from beginning to end.
  25. 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 BlackBrothers 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
  26. Jul 13, 2012
    8
    It lacks the depth and soul of Brothers, but no one is pumping out rock n' roll like the Keys are these days. It's without doubt the most catchy and accessible album they have recorded to date; the unfortunate downside to that is that after many listens, the weaker tracks become all the more obvious and are quickly relegated to the listener's skip list. It plays through more like aIt lacks the depth and soul of Brothers, but no one is pumping out rock n' roll like the Keys are these days. It's without doubt the most catchy and accessible album they have recorded to date; the unfortunate downside to that is that after many listens, the weaker tracks become all the more obvious and are quickly relegated to the listener's skip list. It plays through more like a collection of singles than as an album, but then again, that seems to be exactly TBK and Danger Mouse were going for, anyway. Expand
  27. Aug 20, 2012
    8
    While you can't deny there are some killer tracks on El Camino, it lacks some of the diversity and rawness of their past work. The structure Danger Mouse brings to the table is welcome overall, but it also borders on being "too" pop-y or boxed in. They're not there yet, but will be if they go too much farther in this direction. I'd hate to see my favorite band suffer the same fate asWhile you can't deny there are some killer tracks on El Camino, it lacks some of the diversity and rawness of their past work. The structure Danger Mouse brings to the table is welcome overall, but it also borders on being "too" pop-y or boxed in. They're not there yet, but will be if they go too much farther in this direction. I'd hate to see my favorite band suffer the same fate as Modest Mouse after "Float On".

    Highlights include "Run Right Back", "Sister" and "Money Maker".
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  28. 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.'sThis 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
  29. 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.
  30. 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$)!.
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Mojo
    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. Kerrang!
    Jan 3, 2012
    80
    This is a rip-roaring, multi-faceted rock fest. [17 Dec 2011, p.52]