The Law Of Diminishing Returns: The tendency for a continuing application of effort or skill toward a particular project or goal to decline in effectiveness after a certain level of result has been achieved.

True. I crowned the last Black Keys album, Brothers, the best album of 2010. I also talked about how proud of myself I was for sticking with a band even though they’d gone on a run of music that I wasn’t too fond of. Turns out I may have jumped the gun on the whole “this band has found it’s sound” praise. They very well may have found their sound, it just turns out that for the most part (3 out of the past 4 albums) I’m not that big of a fan of it.

The main thing I wanna do after listening to El Camino is put on Thickfreakness. Weird thing is that I honestly enjoy the album while it’s playing but the minute it ends I’ve forgotten about it, and, at least for me, El Camino, is pure pop in that sense. I still love Brothers and those first 3 Black Keys albums have a permanent spot in my cd rotation, but if the El Camino cd were to slip into the crack between my center console and the seat, I’d never even notice it was missing.

In memoriam:

The Black Keys – Thickfreakness
The Black Keys – Have Love Will Travel

The Black Keys Official Site, The Black Keys on Facebook, The Black Keys on Spotify, Buy Thickfreakness

In other news:

Left Lane Cruiser – Big Mama
Left Lane Cruiser – Pig Farm
Left Lane Cruiser – Pork N’ Beans
Left Lane Cruiser – Lost My Mind

Left Lane Cruiser on Facebook, Left Lane Cruiser on Spotify, Buy Left Lane Cruiser music

Overheard in Autopsy IV’s email: I was trying to pen a line in the vein of, “El Camino is a lot like masturbating. It’s pretty cool while it’s happening but the minute you’re done you wash your hands and walk away disappointed in the authenticity of it all.” But I couldn’t put it together in a way that I was happy with. The above was the closest I got and it still sounds too crass.

11 thoughts on “THE BLACK KEYS – EL CAMINO”

  1. Not the masterpiece that “Brothers” is but I think “El Camino” is a damn solid record. Their sound continues to evolve leaving behind the 70’s Porn sound of “Brothers” for a 60’s Garage Rock sound with a touch of T-Rex. This is an album designed to be played in the large basketball arenas they are currently touring. I dig this very fun, very cool record.

  2. That’s pretty much how I feel about it. The radio happened to be playing “Lonely Boy” when I woke up this morning and I remembered how awesome the song was. But I don’t have much desire to listen to the album again. I think the masturbation analogy is spot-on.

  3. I didn’t even enjoy Brothers, so I’m sad to hear they went even further in the wrong direction (for me).

    1. Agreed……..this is totally off subject and don’t know where else to post about it on the site), but I was watching this shitty redbox movie last night (Straw Dogs, apparently a remake – hopefully the original was better), it’s supposed to be a small town in Alabama but was filmed in Lousiana. There’s a scene of a big pre-football game party and Grayson Capps and his band are playing in it – it was pretty weird/random seeing him in a movie like that, kind of caught me off guard!

      1. The original is awesome — dustin hoffman, sam peckinpah

        i never saw the remake, but james marsden is cool so i hoped it wouldn’t be trash

  4. So whats this knock against the keys for making a different sounding record. They made Thickfreakness. They made it well. Its Awesome and its called Thickfreakness.

    Why would you want them to keep playing the same thing over and over again and making the same record over and over again?

    I think its cool that every black keys record takes a new spin on their sound. I think it really shows that they are not a 1 trick pony. A cool pop-ish record by the same guys that blow up the universe on past favorites like Stack Shot Billy….yes please.

    If all the popular music was as good as the stuff on El Camino this blog wouldn’t exist because people would still be able to enjoy listening to FM radio and that is where we would listen for new music. like we did in the 90s.

    I think if your a fan of the keys you should resist the urge to rank their albums….appreciate that 1 band is giving you so many different records for so many different moods. You want blues. Go listen to the big come up. You need some well constructed (and very well produced) pop….Its El Camino.

    You know what a band is that plays the same thing over and over again. Its the White Stripes. Its boring as shit.

    1. see….I think they just made a record that’s basically a collection of Brothers b-sides and it ended up being completely disposable.

      1. actually, I would say the White Stripes changed their sound up continously. Bagpipes and organs and chicks singing and whatnot were nowhere near the first couple of White Stripe records. but that’s just me saying the jack and meg are the shit.

        1. The only thing that I can agree on here on the brothers b-side comment is that they did put this one out pretty damn quick after brothers. Was it even a year?

          I don’t know man…its not like they can’t rock anymore. I wouldn’t be suprised at all if they go back to a thickfreakness sweet spot record at some point in the future, and it would be welcomed.

          I feel like El Camino is definiley the next step for them, and its not bad….some of the songs are actually pretty damn good. Plus, its only been out for like 2 weeks….sometimes albums really grow, we all need to give it time. tell me Gold on the Ceiling isn’t a good song with a straight face…its like what Michael Jackson would have written if he weren’t a child molester and a weirdo and played guitar. Clearly they have been trying to soften up the sound since attack and release. If this one can reach a bigger audience I’m all for it…woudln’t it be nice if average musical tastes were the black keys instead of Lady Gaga? Thats like the first step towards world peace.

  5. I agree with Bryan- I’m no long-term fan of this album. I think the songs will sound better live (not that I’ll know because I’m not paying $60 to see them). There are a number of spots on this album where I thought, “Damn, that would be a great guitar riff, too bad it’s a keyboard…” I’ll probably like that songs on the last couple albums better if they ever play them as a two-piece band.

  6. As a huge fan of the Black Keys, I reluctantly agree with you. I was looking forward to El Camino and was met with disappointment. Its not that the songs are bad, they’re just kind of boring. They’re are some good ones but overall this just doesn’t sound like the Black Keys to me.

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