El Camino

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

Universal acclaim- based on 257 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 257
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  1. Dec 7, 2011
    7
    This is a great album, but I think the tens are a bit much. The album goes by quickly, everything sounds generally great, the lyrics are okay (nothing thought compelling), and the vocals are TBK standard. Great album, just not a ten. Sadly (looking down the road), I think TBK's are riding a wave of only somewhat justified hype in a misleading sea of musical garbage.
  2. 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.
  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. 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?
  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 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
  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 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
  7. Jun 7, 2014
    7
    Good old rock 'n' roll. Some catchy tracks in here, particularly "Lonely Boy", "Gold on the Ceiling", and "Mind Eraser". The music is mostly great, the lyrics are okay, and the vocals are what you'd expect from The Black Keys.

    While i enjoyed it, i believe the 10s in the reviews here are a bit much. it's no masterpiece.
  8. 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.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
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. Dec 18, 2011
    8
    When bands release great and succesful albums, you never know what to expect of their next one. Luckily, after â
  15. Jan 12, 2012
    8
    I really don't believe it's them seventh album. It has the freshness of a debut, but the strenght of pros. The riffs and voice tricks fitted with the stylish of this CD, but, I don't know, I still think they are in the thin barrier between indie rock/ folk, and it's a real good thing.
  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. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. 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.
  24. 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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  25. 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
  26. Jun 3, 2012
    8
    A bunch of great tracks with the sucker punch ballad 'Little Black Submarines' a standout. Danger Mouse producing the Black Keys finally makes fireworks, and though it may seem shiny and polished at times, it still rocks hard at the core. 'El Camino' shows The Black Keys emerging from their white boys playing blues shadow to a new brighter, swaggering style, 'Gold on the Ceiling' is pureA bunch of great tracks with the sucker punch ballad 'Little Black Submarines' a standout. Danger Mouse producing the Black Keys finally makes fireworks, and though it may seem shiny and polished at times, it still rocks hard at the core. 'El Camino' shows The Black Keys emerging from their white boys playing blues shadow to a new brighter, swaggering style, 'Gold on the Ceiling' is pure glam rock filth. Love it. Expand
  27. 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
  28. 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
  29. Jan 8, 2015
    10
    For me, This is the Black Keys at their finest. Such high energy tracks through out that really get you hyped and moving. It's by far one of the best albums I've heard in years.
  30. 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.
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]