The Black Keys - El Camino
Critic Score
Based on 34 reviews
2011 Ratings: #111 / 997
Year End Rank: #50
User Score
Based on 564 ratings
2011 Ratings: #114
Liked by 15 people
Sign In to rate and review



The brilliance of El Camino lies in the fact that it is still perfectly modern, a step in the direction of legitimizing the use of vocal effects, multi-tracking and ultimately catchy choruses

Consequence of Sound

El Camino distills its predecessor’s high-octane fumes and high-profile influences into very nearly the Platonic ideal of rock and roll.


The riffs are glam-nasty, the lyrics sublimely knuckleheaded, the basslines nimble and bombastic, the mood frivolous and fun and unabashedly corny.

Beats Per Minute

El Camino is aeons away from being revolutionary or influential, despite the public praise the album seems destined to receive.


El Camino sports a clearly defined sound that, despite a definite studio sheen, leaves just enough grit in the mix.

No Ripcord

The Black Keys have created a record that they believe is how a rock’n’roll record should sound, but without soul or sex or genuine sweet emotion.

Fine for what it is

The Black Keys make a fine enough record, with a good chunk of it consisting of really fun and catchy moments, yet the other chunk is just bland and painfully average.

So, before I really say something about the album, I have to say that I really have a rough relationship with this band. Back in early 2019, I had a lot of interest in them, especially because they were going to release their album titled "Let's Rock". I had a lot of hype going into it, I waited ... read more
This was one of the most nostalgic listens I've had in a while because of Lonely Boy and Gold On The Ceiling alone. Back in the days when Spotify didn't exist and I didn't know what pirating even was, those songs were absolutely ABUSED on my iPod Touch. The rest of the album has held up surprisingly well, despite sounding kinda basic and by-the-numbers. Just some really fun blues rock and a callback to when this band was actually really good.
If taken entirely seriously, this isn't that great and ends up pretty bland. The fact of the matter is though, it's catchy fun and relatable. Sometimes that's all you need with a rock record.
Very vibrant and amped up album. A lot of high points on this record its honestly my favorite Black Keys album. Some great rock cuts from this one and i love the twist and style that they had going on this one. My dad has this on vinyl so its always bumping in my house
Probably the best Black Keys album I've ever heard, though I wish the back half was a lot stronger.
Purchasing El Camino from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?

Added on: October 10, 2011