i used to play gold on the ceiling on rockband in high school every lunch

El Camino by The Black Keys

Genre - Garage Rock


Oddly enough, when I was a lot younger I used to listen to some older sorts of music, especially The White Stripes and The Black Keys. My father and I liked to bond over music, as neither of us were much of conversation holders for anything actually meaningful. I always seemed to mix up the two bands, but when I saw this album cover in the used CD rack of a Half-Price Books, all those memories came back to me. Gold on the Ceiling was always a favorite of mine when I was a teenager, and it still is a strong contender for favorite track of this entire album. Only a few weeks ago did I finally get a proper CD of it and sit down to listen to it start to finish, and I couldn't be happier with my choice. The entire album is a masterpiece, and oddly enough just feels so homely to me. Something about the unpolished, rough noise of it all makes me remember some of my younger days, running around in the cracked streets of a suburban neighborhood barefoot, just looking for some fun. It's a lovely thing to remember. The title itself really makes me nostalgic, though. My father used to (and still does) talk occasionally in Spanish, whether for fun or to get a reaction out of people since he's a white man in north Texas talking like he's from Corpus Christi. It's always entertaining to watch.

Favorite Tracks - Dead and Gone, Run Right Back, Hell of a Season

Three songs again, and I tried not to do ones I know are already overplayed. Lonely Boy and Gold on the Ceiling are already well known enough, I think these three tracks deserve more recognition though. Dead and Gone is a catchy and bouncy track that is bound to make anyone want to start dancing around like an idiot. It makes me feel so strange, in the best way. The seemingly gentle nature of the verses followed by the burst of energy over the repeated chorus makes me feel terribly alive, like I need to get up and run after that someone that the singer is referring to over the course of the song. I have an odd fascination with music that feels like obsessive love, that way of loving someone to the point that you would do anything at all for them. Where even death seems like a mere stepping stone. The song itself is full of powerful bass lines that almost seem to overpower the guitar most of the time, really bringing the percussion and beat of the song to the surface. The lead guitar takes a backseat to the backing instruments for this track, and I really think it is a glorious thing to listen to. It makes the short guitar interludes all that more powerful, finally hearing something electric and strong and truly present, as if it's yelling at you to listen closer to the song. The lyrics themselves betray the loving tone of the song, making it feel almost far too obsessive, as if the singer is unwanted and still refuses to give up. Every listen helps me notice a new thing about the backing and lyrics, and I feel I still have a lot more to learn about this song in the future.

Themed similarly to Dead and Gone, Run Right Back is another obsessive loving melody, but in a twisted way. Far, far different. It's of a girl who knows the power she has, and what she can gain with it. She's used up many before him, and will use even more when he's gone. The instrumental of this song feels far more frenetic and excitable, and the lead guitar is far more prevalent. It's mirrored by a second guitar, playing in a lower octave that seems to answer the high, blown out voice of the first. If you listen with stereo, the deeper tones come from the left, while the higher ones come from the right. It almost feels like a conversation to me, the two instruments almost fighting for the attention of the listener in a way. It's harmonious in its own odd way. The drums and bass of this song always draw me in, making me tap along no matter where I am. It's impossible to ignore the lure of a well balanced track, and this is no exception.

The message in Hell of a Season feels even more cut and dry than the other tracks I've noted. An ultimatum, the singer doesn't want to accept that his love is fading because his lover has an addiction or an obsession or something that cuts a rift between them. It's a well known problem among nearly every person who has ever loved another, and yet, it still seems to make all of us struggle. Similarly to Run Right Back, this song includes the conversation between guitars, though it does not have as far a prevalent bass line. Rather, the drums make this song wild and loud, on beat staccato drumming making the listener truly aware of the speed of the track. It is desperate and begging and pleading for his lover to come to her senses and realize what the problem truly is, before it is too late.

Little Black Submarines, Nova Baby - Least Favorite Tracks

In the saddest way imaginable, Little Black Submarines simply does not hold my attention in the same way the other tracks do. It picks up in the latter half, but every time I listen to it I can't help but skip it a third of the way through. It feels like an odd break in the otherwise loud energy of the full album, and it really feels like an unnecessary slowdown in the full excitement of the tracks around it. With Gold on the Ceiling before it and Money Maker coming after, it's just in a very bad spot to be such a slow song.

Strangely enough, this track didn't truly put me off of it from the start, but it just isn't noteworthy to me. I can't seem to recall the lyrics or melody of it like I am for the rest of the album, and that may just be an issue with me, but I truly can't get to enjoy this track. The melody itself is very bouncy and upbeat, which could be the cause - compared to the rest of the album it almost feels too happy to fit in with the rest of the tracks. I do still let it play if it comes on, but I generally don't give it a proper listen past the one minute mark.

I'm a bit sad I never gave this album a proper listen until recently. Several of the tracks will stick with me for a very long time, and it's truly cemented in my mind that Lonely Boy and Gold on the Ceiling will never leave my library, even after all of these years. It's a great album to play during any car ride, short or long, simply because of the energy and power of it. I would love to give it a few more listens through so I can properly gain a feeling for which songs I really do resonate with, but whether or not I change this review, I cannot fully say as of now. I would reccommend anyone to listen to this album.

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