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Track Review

At some point in our lives, most of us have pined away for someone who, deep down, we knew would never reciprocate our everlasting affection. But lest we too quickly curse the curse of unrequited love, think of all the music that would not have been made but for this nearly universal experience of unfulfilled longing.

Music like The Black Keys' latest fuzzed-out hit "Lonely Boy," the first single from the band's seventh album, El Camino.

Sounding a bit like the alternate-universe offspring of early ZZ Top and one of those British Invasion acts, the song laments a lass whose emotional baggage keeps her from responding to a man's longsuffering love for her. "I came to love you," he confesses early on. But it's for naught, apparently, since he concludes, "You pulled my heart out." That has more to do with her broken family than it does him. At least that's what he tells himself: "Well, your mama kept you/But your daddy left you/And I shoulda done you just the same."

Against his better judgment, he doesn't do her as her daddy did. And that can be a good thing, of course. But his only reward for his effort? A bloodied heart ("I came to love you/Am I going to bleed?") as he waits—probably forever—for her to come around ("I got a love that keeps me waiting, keeps me waiting").

In the end, as has been true since the dawn of time (or at least since the dawn of pop music in the 1950s), his sole solace as he shuffles down Rejection Avenue is self-pity: "I'm a lonely boy, I'm a lonely boy," the chorus repeats. Unlike some deadly earnest odes to rejection The Black Keys' effervescent wink at getting shot down doesn't take itself too seriously—especially in the song's made-for-YouTube video. The entirety of the video features a nondescript, middle-aged man in dress slacks and shirt shimmying this way and that as he lip-synchs the song's lyrics.

It's a video that easily could have been done in one take from someone's camera phone—a hipster-approved, low-fi effort that meshes perfectly with the band's hipster-approved, low-fi sound. And, in that, it inspires no criticism from me.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Topped Billboard's rock chart.

Record Label

RCA

Platform

Publisher

Released

August 30, 2011

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Adam R. Holz

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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