- 14 Jun 17
Having worked for years to achieve a commercial breakthrough with The Black Keys, main man Dan Auerbach now appears to be rightly enjoying the fruits of his labours. Waiting On A Song, recorded in his Easy Eye Studio in Nashville, with new pals Mark Knopfler, John Prine and Duane Eddy all contributing, sounds like it was good sport to make.
Sure, the lyrics may have been written in the back of the car on the way to the studio, and some of the titles are so clichéd they’d make Jon Bon Jovi blush (‘Livin’ In Sin’, ‘Shine On Me’, ‘Stand By My Girl’, etc.), but it all sounds great, which is hardly surprising if you’re familiar with the records Auerbach has produced for the likes of Dr. John, The Pretenders and Lana Del Ray. The opening title track, a bit of an “update” of Buddy Holly’s ‘Crying, Waiting, Hoping’, locates the album at the poppier end of rock. ‘Never In My Wildest Dreams’ doesn’t sound unlike Ram-era McCartney, it’s chorus underscored by a lovely, subtle horn section, and there’s more Beatle action in ‘Shine On Me’ – a dead ringer for George Harrison around the time of Cloud Nine. ‘Undertow’ has a touch of Philly soul, as does the marvellous screw-this-city-lark-I’m-off-to-the-sunshine highlight ‘Malibu Man’.
The happy mood – a long way from his first solo record, the repetitiously bluesy Keep It Hid, and the Black Keys’ lacklustre Turn Blue – permeates an album as catchy as the measles. You’ll be whistling the best bits after one listen.