El Camino
band: The Black Keys
LAbel: EMI
PRIce:  Rs 395
Rating ***

This is how you start a party. That sentence arrived, unbidden, into this critic's mind a few seconds after Lonely Boy, the opening track off El Camino, kicked in. 'Oh, oh-oh I got a love that keeps me waiting, I'm a lonely boy,' sings Daniel Auerbach, one half of The Black Keys, with the kind of gay abandon that compels you to sing along even if you aren't, um, a lonely boy.

It's relentless from that point on, with everything from handclaps (Gold on the Ceiling) to bluesy bass lines (Money Maker) and old-fashioned distortion pedals (Little Black Submarines) thrown into a pot. At the helm is producer Danger Mouse (remember The Grey Album?) who produced the band's big hit Tighten Up, off last year's multi-Grammy-winning album Brothers. Listen closely and you can see why this is a smart move. 

Hidden behind the unabashed retro sound are all manner of samples, instrumentals and beats that belong to another era. That the 11 songs finish so quickly -- in little over a half-hour -- is sad, but glorious. It's a solid burst of feel-good music that, as the cover sleeve politely suggests, should be played loud. 

Listen to Auerbach on Sister ('wake up, gonna wake up to nothing, break up, the break up is coming') while Patrick Carney hits the drums with everything he's got. It's what rock 'n' roll used to be like. If the rest of 2012 gives us music half as good, this ought to be a very good year.