Album Review Dan Auerbach - Waiting On A Song

Dan Auerbach - Waiting On A Song

A bright and breezy, folk-tinged affair.


Earlier this year, Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney gave an interview to Rolling Stone to talk about why the band are presently on what is pretty much the first holiday of their sixteen-year career. “Dan and I have worked our asses off, and I’d like to see him take a break.”

Bad news for Patrick, then, comes in the shape of ‘Waiting on a Song’, the second solo album from his bandmate, and Dan Auerbach’s first since 2009’s ‘Keep It Hid’. As much as he might have been urged to put his feet up for a while, everything about this record suggests two things; one, that Dan had some stylistic itches to scratch and two, that this was not an especially taxing set of songs to write and record.

After all, by the time touring for 2014’s ‘Turn Blue’ was effectively cut short by Patrick’s shoulder injury, The Black Keys had become a bona fide arena proposition, and ‘Waiting on a Song’ suggests that maybe Auerbach was yearning for something simpler. This is a bright and breezy, folk-tinged affair that’s a long way from the belligerent guitars of latter-day ‘Keys.

It’s not to say that there aren’t neat, ambitious ideas here and there - see the horns and harmonies on ‘Malibu Man’, for instance, or the funk shuffle of ‘Cherrybomb’ - but for the most part, this feels like a real palate cleanser for Dan, a chance for him to refresh his songwriting chops away from the pressure of fronting one of the world’s biggest rock bands. It’s a perfectly pleasant ride to go along with him on, too, and given that ‘Turn Blue’ sounded a tired effort pretty much from the get go, this return to his roots will hopefully bode well for the band when they eventually reconvene.

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