Rubber Factory - The Black Keys

Universal acclaim - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Shockingly well done... a remarkable album. [3 Sep 2004, p.73]
  2. 100
    Some called their first two albums derivative, but with this third disc the guys wrestle their greased-up garage boogie until they own it.
  3. The most exciting and best rock & roll record of 2004.
  4. The Black Keys play the kind of raw, sensual blues-rock that makes you want to hide your girlfriend and warn your mom.
  5. 90
    The sparse arrangements and DIY aesthetic give the Keys a rock and roll genuineness that's missing from their contemporaries. [#8, p.79]
  6. 86
    More of the same meaty riffs meet familiar sweaty rhythms to take you down to the Midwestern delta one more time. [#12, p.95]
  7. It picks up right where Thickfreakness left off-- outside the bar in the gravel parking lot, swinging aggressively with Dan Auerbach's ferocious six-string and Patrick Carney's cymbal-and-snare seizures-- and brings the noise one step further.
  8. Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach deliver a much more consistent and musically varied album with Rubber Factory, yet don’t sacrifice the guitar rock that made their previous two albums so much fun.
  9. Rubber Factory is not as consistent an offering as Thickfreakness.... But make no mistake, the strengths here more than amend for the weaknesses.
  10. This is deceptively simple, back-to-basics rock music that no honest American can help but enjoy.
  11. 80
    The duo-only, no bass required songs don't lack for sonic depth. [Sep 2004, p.98]
  12. Rubber Factory finds inspiration in decay, and signals a hopeful future for the Black Keys.
  13. Their sound is no more polished than the tracks were on their last album, the also-great thickfreakness, but there's an air of stronger confidence on Rubber Factory.
  14. This album shows that these guys have plenty of room to expand stylistically while still absolutely owning blues rock.
  15. Sounds like it's coming from bluesmasters who've lived twice as long and seen three times as much.
  16. The disc makes a lot of noise, and it sounds great in the process.
  17. 75
    Doesn't sound as raw as they probably wanted it to. [Oct 2004, p.120]
  18. It's just a shame that quieter moments such as 'The Lengths' sound a little weedy in comparison. [4 Sep 2004, p.72]
  19. 70
    It's terrific, lively fun--soulful, even--as long as nobody tries to tell you there's something radical about it. [Sep 2004, p.101]
  20. 70
    Auerbach's fat, rocketing riffs are rivaled only by his Delta-dipped drawl. [Oct 2004, p.114]
  21. Innovation isn't on the agenda, but thanks to some stomping tunes and Auerbach's oak-smoked vocals, it's another rock-solid enterprise. [Sep 2004, p.119]
  22. High-impact scuzz-blues that aims for prime Hendrix and almost gets there. [30 Sep 2004, p.186]
  23. There's a bit more quiet time on this effort. [Nov 2004, p.149]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 71 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 22
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 22
  3. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. CalebQ
    Jan 9, 2005
    Gritty garage blues-rock at its finest. Perfect for the hip indiephile tired od philosophical verse and Pixies ripoffs. My personal faves are "Act Nice And Gentle", a perfect honly-tonk jam; and "Stack Shot Billy", with witty songwriting along with the Lava-soap rock. After eating nothing but strange foreign dishes and crazy tastes your friends suggested, its refreshing to just get a huge steak. And the Black Keys serve this slab hot and juicy. (Warning: may cure musical jadedness.) Full Review »
  2. Jul 2, 2013
    Key word: VARIETY. This is the first Black Keys album with some variety and that alone makes this a much stronger record than their first two. It isn't easy to bring variation to the blues formula but Rubber Factory does it. This record would have been flawless if they cut the last 3 songs and plucked "grown so ugly" out of the catalog as the rest is great.

    It sounds and feels bigger. I was pretty take it or leave it when it came to blues music, but this album has me into it big time.
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 4, 2012
    Not sure what I'm missing here, but this is just a regular blues rock, and the songs are OK but nothing really original or great (Black Crowes and countless others before them all the way back to 60's did a lot better). Not sure where these high scores come from.. Full Review »