Album Review: Dan Auerbach – Waiting On A Song

Heads up Black Keys fans. Frontman Dan Auerbach has just released his new raging summer soundtrack album Waiting On A Song. The style he’s going for on this follow-up to 2009’s Keep It Hid is a blend of catchy 1950’s oldies rock and the three decades pop/funk infused beats of the rock tradition.

Written alongside the legendary John Prine, the title track of the album presents a country swing beach boys vibe, which is a lighter and folkier mood than Auerbach’s heavier guitar riffs in his most popular rock outfit The Black Keys. The song gains its driving power with a consistently catchy melody and upbeat groove and is one of the highlights of the entire album. For Malibu Man, Auerbach dials up his soul/funk style and presents a shift from the country swing to a Caribbean swing. With full band sounds packed with horns and raging percussion, this song stands out as one of the memorable tracks on the album.

On Livin’ In Sin, Auerbach swims his way back to the beach with more seaside and sunshine vibes. The overall message of the song, matched with the upbeat, catchy musical notes throughout the song proves the carefree, positivity that Auerbach thoroughly displays on this song. Shine On Me keeps the beachy, Summer sun grooves fresh with a fast paced tempo and electrifying, distorted guitar riffs. As with the first single, this song is a great example of the overall style that Auerbach utilizes on this album. King of A One Horse Town, track five, jumps to late 70’s early 80’s easy listening soul. With skyrocketing background guitar fills, the song gains is driving power from Auerbach’s simple and passionate vocals.

Never In My Wildest Dreams stands out as the most unique track on the album because for the majority of the song the only instruments are a ukulele and Auerbach’s vocals. This song adds the winding down, late night bonfire vibes to an already jam-packed track list of beachy tones. The first song that I replayed over and over again on this album was Stand By My Girl. This song is the most likely to have been made famous by The Black Keys. It has all the ingredients of a Black Keys classic, with an unforgettable hook in the chorus, and an instrumental blend of upbeat, raging musical notes.

It’s evident that Dan Auerbach is an all around musician. He can shred, strum, and pluck the strings of his guitar with a multitude of volume and style. On Waiting On A Song, Auerbach achieves a sonic altitude that makes listeners beg for more Black Keys but at the same time makes us think “Damn, this dude is the all around real deal.”

Scott J. Herman