A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Black Keys' Number 2 album El Camino and the hit single "Lonely Boy" were nominated for a total of five Grammy Awards for 2012, though the album was released in late 2011. The record features distorted guitar and vocal sounds, and powerful rock 'n' roll drums, on tuneful songs about love gone wrong. The fun, up-tempo feel of the songs contrasts with words about painful heartbreak. The lyrics can be disturbing at times, as the lover in the songs is hooked on a relationship that causes him pain and frustration, but the language and content are almost completely clean with the exception of one song that repeats "hell," and one possible reference to prostitution in "Money Maker." There are also a couple of violent metaphors (but no real violence) in "Lonely Boy, "Gold on the Ceiling," and "Stop Stop."
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- Kids say
What's the story?
EL CAMINO, the seventh album by The Black Keys, was released in December 2011 to rave reviews. The album rose to Number 2 on the Rock and Alternative album charts and Number 10 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. The album and hit single "Lonely Boy" were nominated for a total of five Grammy Awards for 2012. Recorded in Nashville in Black Keys guitarist/vocalist Dan Auerbach's studio, Easy Eye, the album combines up-tempo rock 'n' roll, surf, and soul music with lyrics about heartbreak. The band members have said that music by punk bands The Clash and The Ramones, and by glam/rock groups like Sweet and The Cars, was influential on the album production.
Is it any good?
The Black Keys take elements of music they love -- punk, soul, rock 'n' roll, surf, glam -- and twist them into really original, infectious songs that are so strong and so much fun that the listener forgets that the lyrics bemoan heartbreak and pain. This album is a joy for anyone who loves fuzzed guitars and a big back beat; the release well-deserves its multiple Grammy nods. Now a studio owner and producer as well as guitarist/vocalist for the Black Keys, Dan Auerbach is becoming a wonderful influence on rock 'n' roll music in general, and it's exciting to wonder what he'll touch next.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the pain that the person in these songs seems to endure. Why do you think he wants a person who hurts him?
What do you think makes The Black Keys so appealing musically? What about their music stands out from the pack?
Do you think the song "Money Maker" is about a prostitute? What else could it be about?
Themes & Topics
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