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Alternative & Indie - Released June 2, 2017 | Nonesuch

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Dan Auerbach managed to carve slot out of his busy minister’s schedule to get to work on his second solo album, which he has released on his new label, Easy Eye Sound Records. Eight years after Keep It Hid, the brains behind Black Keys, and a very active producer (Lana Del Rey, Pretenders, Valerie June, Ray LaMontagne, Bombino), Auerbach conceived of this record, Waiting On A Song as " a love letter to Nashville. " That makes sense: Auerbach left his native town of Akron, Ohio, to set up in Music City in 2010, where he opened his own recording studio, Easy Eye. This second solo record brings in many guests including John Prine, ex-Dire Straits member Mark Knopfler, Duane Eddy, Jerry Douglas, Pat McLaughlin but also Bobby Wood and Gene Chrisman of the Memphis Boys. John Prine plays a major role as the co-writer of seven of the ten songs on the album! A great songwriter who is little-known this side of the Atlantic, but adored by a cult following back home, Prine started as a protégé of Kris Kristofferson, and is anything but a sub-Dylan. Mixing causticity and pure emotion with a rare talent, he has even become known as one of the most under-rated portraitists of his generation. And while his dark humour keeps him safe from any temptations in the direction of soppiness, he also knows how to touch the heart... Like Father John Misty, Dan Auerbach seems nostalgic for the 1970s that saw rock, pop, country, blues, soul and folk swirl together. This makes for a mercurial album, which moves from sunny songs to melancholy ballads. In an era where everything moves a mile a minute, Waiting On A Song takes its time and it could not care less about whether it makes for an easy one-off listen. The leader of the Black Keys and his friends are there to make art, and record songs that will stand the test of time. And with that in mind, this is an album that deserves to be savoured like a welcome siesta, or an enchanting digression...© MD/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 2, 2017 | Nonesuch

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When Dan Auerbach released his debut solo album Keep It Hid in 2009, the Black Keys were on the verge of superstardom; so his solo album was a busman's holiday, not the start of a career. Waiting on a Song, its 2017 sequel, arrives in the midst of an extended hiatus from the Black Keys, who took a breather after a run of blockbusters that coincided with Auerbach establishing himself as a producer of note. On these extracurricular projects, Auerbach broadened his sonic palette, working with everybody from Americana stalwart Ray LaMontagne to post-modern noir diva Lana Del Rey, and he brings this new bag of tricks to Waiting on a Song. Having more in common with the groovy classic soul moves of his 2015 side project the Arcs than the heavy-footed stomp of the Black Keys, Waiting on a Song's heart lies in the glimmering productions of Jeff Lynne in the late '80s. "Shine on Me" glistens like an outtake from the Traveling Wilburys, and it's not an isolated incident. Auerbach keeps circling back to this bright, cheerful sound, accentuating it with elements of Memphis soul and an undercurrent of classically constructed Americana. The title Waiting on a Song hints at such craftsmanship, and it was co-written by John Prine and Pat McLaughlin, whose presence suggests that Auerbach is adding "singer/songwriter" to his impressive résumé. The thing about this album is, it shows the power of craft across the board: Auerbach's become a vivid, imaginative producer and now he's writing songs to match. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Alternative & Indie - Released December 22, 2017 | Easy Eye Sound

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 17, 2018 | Nonesuch

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Rock - Released February 10, 2009 | Nonesuch

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Rock - Released February 10, 2009 | Nonesuch

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Whenever the lead singer/songwriter in a two-person group steps out with a solo album, the first question that comes to mind is whether the musician needed to go out on his own, whether he could possibly be constrained by his lone partner. In the case of Dan Auerbach, the guitarist and singer for the Black Keys, it's not so much that Pat Carney holds him back as that he's such a distinctive, powerful drummer that he colors and changes Auerbach's playing; it's what band chemistry is all about. Opening his own studio, Akron Analog, gave Auerbach an excuse to cut an album without Carney, and 2009's Keep It Hid is at once completely similar and totally different than the Black Keys. All the same musical touchstones remain -- primarily classic post-WWII blues, often filtered through '60s and early-'70s classic rock -- but without Carney the attack isn't savage, focusing on feel instead of force. To a certain extent, the Black Keys followed that aesthetic on the Danger Mouse-produced 2008 LP Attack & Release, but "Keep It Hid" lacks its studied, self-conscious atmospherics, along with Carney's wallop. Auerbach compensates by letting everything on "Keep It Hid" breathe -- there's space in his songs and his production, there are ragged edges, room echo, and natural distortion, all making it feel alluringly out of time. It follows that the album boasts more quiet acoustic moments than the Black Keys' records, but the difference is just as evident in songs that are closer to Auerbach's bluesy signature: "I Want Some More" has a thick, swampy rhythm that never quite gets menacing, "Heartbroken, In Disrepair" swirls, and the dramatic build of "When I Left the Room" has an almost psychedelic undertow, "Mean Monsoon" steps cleanly and precisely in contrast to the slow-crawling murk of "Keep It Hid," while the tremendous "My Last Mistake" is the poppiest song Auerbach has ever written. There's variety here, but Keep It Hid never draws attention to Auerbach's eclecticism, especially because it moves along at a rapid clip, never staying in one place too long. It all feels organic, right down to how it feels natural for Auerbach to step outside of the Black Keys to release this album: it really is something that he couldn't have made with Carney, and its existence winds up confirming the immense talents of both musicians. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine