Doz On Life is changing everyday, it's important for me to find new shit worth writing about. If you know me at all, you know sports and music are my two most favorite things in life. I write about sports a lot but other than song of the day not much music. In attempts to change that this is a new feature I'll be working on where I basically just review albums and give my recommendations. Again because I have great taste you should take this gospel. Still a work in progress so I'm sure they'll be a few kinks at first but as you know it's my dream to work for Barstool and they don't really do a lot of music coverage so if this can help me give myself some added value on my application than that's awesome.
I'm gonna start off with some older albums that I really love but the goal for this is to review both new and old music. The Black Keys are my favorite band of all time so obviously I have to start with them, so the inaugural DOL Album Appreciation will be El Camino by The Black Keys.
Album Title: El Camino
Artist: The Black Keys (7th album)
Released: December 6th, 2011
Personal: Lead Vocals and Guitar: Dan Auerbach
Drums: Pat Carney
Running Time: 38 minutes 18 seconds
Number of Tracks: 11
Lonely Boy (peaked #1 US Alternative charts)
Gold on The Ceiling (peaked #1 US Alternative charts)
Little Black Submarines (peaked #2 US Alternative charts)
Platinum in the U.S.
Peaked at #2 on Billboard Top 200
Won 4 Grammy Awards (55th Grammys)
Also Nominated for Two Additional Grammys
What I have grown to love about the Black Keys is their multiple sounds. While I am a fan of all their music, most albums have a different sound than the last. They mix so many different genres of music, rock, blues, jazz, alternative, and garage rock. There sound is very unique. They can rock, but also can have an old timey blues sound. They perform at dive bars and football stadiums. The Black Keys often get compared to the White Stripes because they're both rock duos with many sounds but the Black Keys are sooooo much better IMO. Their lyrical content is amazing, they write many relatable songs about love, heart break, just life in general. Lead singer and guitarist Dan Auerbach has a vocal range unlike many others in rock currently, with a falsetto that would make Andy Bernard jealous, although that is displayed more on other albums.
With many albums there are a few songs that on good and then some you listen to a couple times and never again because it sucks. El Camino is not that kind of album. Of the 11 tracks, I'd say I love 10 of them. Mind Eraser the final song being my least favorite, when even that isn't an awful song. My favorite song on the album is Hell of a Season which is track #8 and was not released as a single.
Little Black Submarines
I included both the music video and live version because although the video is great, it is the single edit and chops about a minute off the song's album version, so I'll give you both. That's the doz on life difference.
Although the lead single "Lonely Boy" got most of the commercial success, and rightfully so, it's a great song, to me Little Black Submarines is the best single on the Album. IMO one of the Black Keys Top 5 songs from their entire catalog, nearly 15 years of music. What makes this song unique is the fusion of two separate musical styles, the song starts slowly with an acoustic guitar. The way I see it the lyrics paint a picture of a man dealing with a depression, just trying to go on with his broken heart. Hence the term "little black submarines" the Submarine being a metaphor for being held under with how he's feeling.
The lyric "Should've seen it glow, but everybody knows that a broken heart is blind", just shows that when you're not all their emotional it's impossible to see everything around you. Then the song takes a drastic turn and gets much more rock-y as it switches to electric guitar. The song is highlighted by Auerbach's guitar solos that sound much like a Led Zeppelin riff. You can just feel the emotion in this track. The closing solo is some of his best work ever.
I have seen the Black Keys twice in concert and this song as been their closer. Rightfully so, it is one of their best songs, some may even call it their signature song. When they perform it live, both the accustic intro and electric middle and ending are extended, it is really something to see and hear. In 2014 when I saw them at the Garden Auerbach began with a steel guitar, it was awesome.
Best Deep Tracks (non singles)
Dead and Gone
I'll go anywhere you go, oooooh oh ohh
Story of a girl taking advantage of a guy who loves her, but she doesn't know what she wants.
Hell of a Season
Hands down my favorite Black Keys song, just listen to it for yourself.
There is a reason this album won 4 Grammy Awards. IMO it is the Black Keys best work, it really bums me out there are rumors that they have split up. Drummer Patrick Carney has made quite the reputation for himself as one of the bigger ass holes in music. Hopefully it doesn't tear on of the best duos in rock apart. Especially after the disappoint that was Turn Blue. Would suck if that was their final album. It's not awful, but compared to their previous three records, it just doesn't hold a candle to it. There's a reason that when I went to the Turn Blue Tour they only played like 4 songs off that album.
So that was the first Album Appreciation. Be sure to give this entire album a listen if you haven't already. Even though it is nearly 5 years old it still holds up. Plus at under 40 minutes in length it's an easy listen, that you'll just want to play again, and again, and again.