The Arcs: Yours, Dreamily review – Black Keys frontman bares his soul

(Nonesuch Records)

Dan Auerbach’s “new” group isn’t new at all. A collection of longtime “musical compadres”, the Black Keys frontman has worked with the Arcs when he produced Dr John and Lana Del Rey, and there’s a familial feel to this album. Auerbach has talked about how this isn’t a solo project, and indeed, unlike his bonafide solo effort Keep It Hid (2009), Yours, Dreamily moves away from bluesy rock’n’roll. In fact, soul is the genre the album most often calls to mind. Out go the huge meat’n’two veg riffs the Black Keys are known for, in come slower reflective moments (Put a Flower in Your Pocket), and tracks that could have come from the mind of Dee Dee Warwick or the Stax records vault (Pistol Made of Bones). Auerbach becomes a perpetually lovelorn protagonist mixing his misfortune with classic American soul sounds and hints of Mariachi rancheros and 90s trip-hop (Nature’s Child). For someone whose main project has been criticised for operating inside very limited parameters, this album proves he’s at ease outside his comfort zone.

Contributor

Lanre Bakare

The GuardianTramp

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