The Black Keys: El Camino – review

(Nonesuch)

The seventh album from the Black Keys reflects the duo's unlikely ascension to Proper Rock Star status, dripping with an easy, attractive confidence. There's still a garage band in there, but – with the assistance of producer Danger Mouse – they stride fearlessly into areas that might once have been off-limits, as with the taut, clipped FM rock of Sisters, or the Glitter Band-via-Goldfrapp stomp of Gold on the Ceiling. Danger Mouse colours in the backgrounds adeptly with dabs of sound – synth here, backing vocals there – though Dan Auerbach's guitars remain everywhere. Their faith in their own ability to master anything is apparent on the opener, Lonely Boy, which begins with a dirty, fuzzy guitar riff and pounding floor toms, before a brief keyboard hook, which in turn gives way to a rockabilly guitar line and snare shuffle, which itself is subsumed beneath a huge, sleek chorus. They sound like a band who think they've made the year's best rock'n'roll album, probably because that's exactly what they've done.

Contributor

Michael Hann

The GuardianTramp

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