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The Black Keys|Dropout Boogie

Dropout Boogie

The Black Keys

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With Dan Auerbach now a studio owner and label chief, it's natural to wonder how he is finding the time to write quality songs and record with his original band. Or focus enough to make another masterpiece like 2004's Rubber Factory or 2011's El Camino. That situation may have influenced the title of this collection, but any fears about consistency or the way forward are dispelled by the opening riff rocker, "Wild Child." The vintage Black Keys three chord tromper "Your Team is Looking Good" also rocks convincingly, and they get back to one of their core strengths—Mississippi hill country blues stomp, which they celebrated on their last album, Delta Kream—in "For the Love of Money." In a strange turn, the biggest guest here, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons isn't asked to do much in the mid-tempo "Good Love," which he co-wrote.  Recorded at Auerbach's Easy Eye Sound studio in Nashville over a five-month period in summer and fall of 2021, Dropout Boogie was engineered by M. Allen Parker and Caleb VanBuskirk and mixed by the A-list talents of Tchad Blake and Tom Elmhirst. Percussionist Sam Bacco adds variety to Patrick Carney's drumming. A deceptively capable vocalist, Auerbach takes a very credible stab at writing and singing a ballad in "How Long" which is fleshed out by a harpsichord and backup vocals by Cincinnati's Andy Gabbard (Thee Shams, Buffalo Killers) who also tours as The Black Keys' second guitarist. Auerbach sings incendiary lyrics, "If we make it to your town/ We're gonna burn the damn thing down" in odd, leisurely fashion in the decidedly non-menacing, "Burn the Damn Thing Down." And near its end, "Baby I'm Coming Home" breaks into the signature riff from the Allman Brothers, "Midnight Rider."  As the album's second half winds down, so does the strength of the tunes, but you'll still find the same fuzzy guitars, big beats and layered vocals that have made their sound special.  If not essential Black Keys, the lower key Dropout Boogie is at least more of what's made them one of the last major rock bands left alive.  © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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Dropout Boogie

The Black Keys

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1
Wild Child
00:02:44

Sam Bacco, Percussion - Angelo Petraglia, Writer - Greg Calbi, Masterer - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, Editor - Steve Fallone, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer, Editor - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Bass, Synthesizer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Guitar, Writer, Bass, Synthesizer - Greg Cartwright, Writer - Caleb VanBuskirk, Engineer - M. Allen Parker, Engineer - Andy Gabbard, Background Vocals, Wurlitzer - McKinley James, AssistantEngineer - Tyler Zwiep, AssistantEngineer - Jonny Ullman, AssistantEngineer

© 2022 The Black Keys, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc. ℗ 2022 The Black Keys, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc.

2
It Ain't Over
00:03:48

Sam Bacco, Percussion - Greg Calbi, Masterer - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, Editor - Steve Fallone, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer, Editor - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Bass, Synthesizer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Percussion, Writer, Synthesizer - Greg Cartwright, Writer - Caleb VanBuskirk, Engineer - M. Allen Parker, Engineer - Andy Gabbard, Background Vocals - McKinley James, AssistantEngineer - Tyler Zwiep, AssistantEngineer - Jonny Ullman, AssistantEngineer

© 2022 The Black Keys, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc. ℗ 2022 The Black Keys, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc.

3
For the Love of Money
00:03:31

Sam Bacco, Percussion - Angelo Petraglia, Writer - Greg Calbi, Masterer - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, Editor - Steve Fallone, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer, Editor - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Bass - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Percussion, Writer, Synthesizer - Caleb VanBuskirk, Engineer - M. Allen Parker, Engineer - Ray Jacildo, Hammond Organ - Andy Gabbard, Background Vocals - McKinley James, AssistantEngineer - Tyler Zwiep, AssistantEngineer - Jonny Ullman, AssistantEngineer

© 2022 The Black Keys, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc. ℗ 2022 The Black Keys, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc.

4
Your Team Is Looking Good
00:03:05

Sam Bacco, Percussion - Greg Calbi, Masterer - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, Editor - Steve Fallone, Masterer - Bobby Troup, Writer - Tchad Blake, Mixer, Editor - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Bass - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Guitar, Writer - Caleb VanBuskirk, Engineer - M. Allen Parker, Engineer - McKinley James, AssistantEngineer - Sierra Ferrell, Background Vocals - Tyler Zwiep, AssistantEngineer - Jonny Ullman, AssistantEngineer

© 2022 The Black Keys, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc. ℗ 2022 The Black Keys, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc.

5
Good Love (feat. Billy F Gibbons)
00:03:37

Sam Bacco, Percussion - Billy F Gibbons, FeaturedArtist, Featured Guitar - Billy Gibbons, Writer - Greg Calbi, Masterer - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, Editor - Steve Fallone, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer, Editor - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Hammond Organ, Vocals, Writer, Bass - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Caleb VanBuskirk, Engineer - M. Allen Parker, Engineer - Andy Gabbard, Background Vocals - McKinley James, AssistantEngineer - Tyler Zwiep, AssistantEngineer - Jonny Ullman, AssistantEngineer - Andy Gibbons, Guitar

© 2022 The Black Keys, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc. ℗ 2022 The Black Keys, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc.

6
How Long
00:03:20

Sam Bacco, Percussion - Greg Calbi, Masterer - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, Editor - Steve Fallone, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer, Editor - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Bass, Synthesizer - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer, Synthesizer - Caleb VanBuskirk, Engineer - M. Allen Parker, Engineer - Ray Jacildo, Harpsichord, Hammond Organ, Piano - Andy Gabbard, Background Vocals - McKinley James, AssistantEngineer - Tyler Zwiep, AssistantEngineer - Jonny Ullman, AssistantEngineer

© 2022 The Black Keys, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc. ℗ 2022 The Black Keys, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc.

7
Burn the Damn Thing Down
00:02:57

Sam Bacco, Percussion - Greg Calbi, Masterer - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, Editor - Steve Fallone, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer, Editor - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Bass - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer - Caleb VanBuskirk, Engineer - M. Allen Parker, Engineer - Andy Gabbard, Piano, Background Vocals - McKinley James, AssistantEngineer - Tyler Zwiep, AssistantEngineer - Jonny Ullman, AssistantEngineer

© 2022 The Black Keys, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc. ℗ 2022 The Black Keys, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc.

8
Happiness
00:03:44

Greg Calbi, Masterer - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, Editor - Steve Fallone, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer, Editor - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Bass - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer - Caleb VanBuskirk, Engineer - M. Allen Parker, Engineer - Andy Gabbard, Background Vocals - McKinley James, AssistantEngineer - Tyler Zwiep, AssistantEngineer - Jonny Ullman, AssistantEngineer

© 2022 The Black Keys, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc. ℗ 2022 The Black Keys, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc.

9
Baby I'm Coming Home
00:03:08

Sam Bacco, Percussion - Greg Calbi, Masterer - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, Editor - Steve Fallone, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer, Editor - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Bass - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Percussion, Writer - Greg Cartwright, Writer - Caleb VanBuskirk, Engineer - M. Allen Parker, Engineer - Andy Gabbard, Background Vocals - McKinley James, AssistantEngineer - Tyler Zwiep, AssistantEngineer - Jonny Ullman, AssistantEngineer

© 2022 The Black Keys, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc. ℗ 2022 The Black Keys, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc.

10
Didn't I Love You
00:04:01

Sam Bacco, Percussion - Greg Calbi, Masterer - Tom Elmhirst, Mixer, Editor - Steve Fallone, Masterer - Tchad Blake, Mixer, Editor - Dan Auerbach, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Bass - The Black Keys, Producer, MainArtist - Patrick Carney, Drums, Writer - Caleb VanBuskirk, Engineer - M. Allen Parker, Engineer - Andy Gabbard, Guitar, Background Vocals - McKinley James, AssistantEngineer - Tyler Zwiep, AssistantEngineer - Jonny Ullman, AssistantEngineer

© 2022 The Black Keys, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc. ℗ 2022 The Black Keys, under exclusive license to Nonesuch Records Inc.

Album review

With Dan Auerbach now a studio owner and label chief, it's natural to wonder how he is finding the time to write quality songs and record with his original band. Or focus enough to make another masterpiece like 2004's Rubber Factory or 2011's El Camino. That situation may have influenced the title of this collection, but any fears about consistency or the way forward are dispelled by the opening riff rocker, "Wild Child." The vintage Black Keys three chord tromper "Your Team is Looking Good" also rocks convincingly, and they get back to one of their core strengths—Mississippi hill country blues stomp, which they celebrated on their last album, Delta Kream—in "For the Love of Money." In a strange turn, the biggest guest here, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons isn't asked to do much in the mid-tempo "Good Love," which he co-wrote.  Recorded at Auerbach's Easy Eye Sound studio in Nashville over a five-month period in summer and fall of 2021, Dropout Boogie was engineered by M. Allen Parker and Caleb VanBuskirk and mixed by the A-list talents of Tchad Blake and Tom Elmhirst. Percussionist Sam Bacco adds variety to Patrick Carney's drumming. A deceptively capable vocalist, Auerbach takes a very credible stab at writing and singing a ballad in "How Long" which is fleshed out by a harpsichord and backup vocals by Cincinnati's Andy Gabbard (Thee Shams, Buffalo Killers) who also tours as The Black Keys' second guitarist. Auerbach sings incendiary lyrics, "If we make it to your town/ We're gonna burn the damn thing down" in odd, leisurely fashion in the decidedly non-menacing, "Burn the Damn Thing Down." And near its end, "Baby I'm Coming Home" breaks into the signature riff from the Allman Brothers, "Midnight Rider."  As the album's second half winds down, so does the strength of the tunes, but you'll still find the same fuzzy guitars, big beats and layered vocals that have made their sound special.  If not essential Black Keys, the lower key Dropout Boogie is at least more of what's made them one of the last major rock bands left alive.  © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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