Dan Auerbach channels his newfound Nashville residency into a joyously organic album that's got soul from start to finish.
Eight years after his debut solo album, Keep It Hid, Auerbach's latest feels like a summation of his career to date — the wide instrumental palette of the Arcs, the old school vibes of early Black Keys tunes and the pop sensibilities of their most recent work.
Waiting on a Song stays keeps an upbeat demeanour across its 10 tracks, but the instantly catchy choruses are where it really shines.
From the uplifting, gospel-sounding "Malibu Man" to the anthemic "Shine On Me," which features guitar legend Mark Knopfler playing lead licks, the refrains across the album are the charming earworms that drive it forward.
Sonically, the album is a bit of a departure from Auerbach's more familiar work with the Black Keys. His typical thick layers of fuzz are nowhere to be found on this record, but he sounds just as comfortable with some light overdrive under his hands, especially on tracks like title track "Waiting on a Song" and "Livin' in Sin."
Waiting on a Song's production is particularly impressive, balancing a variety of instruments and multitude of guitar tracks without sounding processed and sterile. The final product is dynamic, with a warm, analog sound that brings out the best in Auerbach's writing.
After years spent on the road with the Black Keys and the Arcs, Auerbach has finally settled into Nashville, and sounds right at home on Waiting on a Song. (Easy Eyes)