Track Review: The Black Keys, 'Lonely Boy'

78 Billboard Rating

THE BLACK KEYS
Lonely Boy (3:14)
Producers: The Black Keys and Danger Mouse
Writers: D. Auerbach, P. Carney, B. Burton
Publishers: McMoore McLesst Publishing (BMI), Administered by Wixen Music/Sweet Science/Copyright Control (ASCAP)
Nonesuch/Warner Bros.

When it comes to matters of the heart, the Black Keys aren't always the nice guys. From 2008's "Psychotic Girl" to last year's "Next Girl" and now new single "Lonely Boy," the Ohio-bred blues-rock duo seems perennially down for a bit of ex-girlfriend bad-mouthing. "Lonely Boy," the lead single off upcoming seventh album "El Camino," comes across as a vulnerable anthem, with a chorus that goes, "I got a love that keeps me waiting/I'm a lonely boy." But there are bitter shots a-plenty -- one-liners chronicling daddy issues ("Well your mama kept you, but your daddy left you/And I should have done you just the same") and blatant arrogance ("Well I'm so above you, it is plain to see"). At least the song's got a groovy beat that makes listeners want to do the Mashed Potato. Throw in a throwback surf-rock riff that's almost as catchy as the whistling intro on "Tighten Up" -- or anything by recent rock radio favorites Foster the People -- and the upbeat, organ-tinged "Lonely Boy" is bound to land the Black Keys back on the airwaves.

Watch the Black Keys' goofy viral video for "Lonely Boy":

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