ALBUM REVIEW: Dan Auerbach- Waiting On a Song

By Brogan McKeown (@leopardprintdream

Black Key’s front man, Dan Auerbach, has released his second solo album since his debut, Keep It Hid, in 2009. Auerbach’s new album, Waiting on A Song is an album written, it seems, for one purpose; time travel. The songs and the sounds are undeniably influenced by past stars and it sounds like something you would have heard if you had been at Woodstock. 

Waiting on a Song
is a very satisfying mixture of sounds that are so delightful it’s hard not to feel completely relaxed as you listen. Indie anthem of the year. Many Black Keys’ fans have been anxiously anticipating it’s release and now that it’s finally here, let’s have a look at this 10 track phenomenon. 

The eponymous titled track is one that really gets you involved in this album and being the first song, it couldn’t have had a better position on the track listing. It is a total blast from the past revamped and it just works so well. The song sounds almost like America would sound in the 70s and the music video just totally confirms this feeling. The video is a montage of young kids and the good times they share with each other before they move away- making the song perfect for this. Listening to Waiting on a Song will get you gearing up for a road trip with your friends and spending some quality time with each other. 

Fourth track Shine on Me is a feelgood song that is bound to cheer anyone up. This track immediately starts with a funky, quick guitar riff and you know that it’s going to be a good one. The song is something that would be perfect for a trip and with its catchy chorus which doesn’t say too much, but it doesn’t need to, it’s hard for this to not get stuck in your head. The chorus simply repeats shine on me, but it is very fitting. Other lines such as I’m allergic to the tears contributes to the feelgood nature of the song and really brings it all together.

Livin’ In Sin 
is very similar to Shine on Me as the feelgood feeling is present here. It’s a happy, catchy song and the chorus repeats livin’ in sin and with catchy guitar riffs, you can’t go wrong. Again, this is a song that doesn’t need a long chorus to do the job. The song has a country feel and is bound to be instantly appealing to your ears. 
Never in My Wildest Dreams is a cutesy guitar love song (everyone is a sucker for one of these) that pulls you in straight away. The lyrics are that of a relatable nature making the song just that little bit sweeter: “you’re just too good to touch I can’t discuss it much I get too choked, don’t wanna make a scene”. 

Now, Malibu Man is a song that really stands out. The song begins with a piano sequence that can be likened to that of The Doors. Already, you’re transported to a different decade thanks to the blues sounds and you’re almost waiting for Jim Morrison to start busting out some lyrics. It is a great groove and confirms the time travel feeling.

King of a One Horse Road is a fantastic song with many different influences within it, the 60s influence in it being felt through the chords and riffs. Dan Auerbach has captured something within his song that is just so so clever it’s fantastic- the past. The song is about a struggle and songs of this nature are a very appealing thing to many as we all like a song we can relate to. This song is definitely one of the first you should listen to if you’re going to try out the album. 

Cherrybomb is another worthy mention at it just oozes with groove as Auerbach’s vocals take you on a journey. The song is a classic hit with a little kick of kind of spice that is irresistible. Similarly, Undertow has the same effect. This track begins with a beat that keeps on going and sounds like Auerbach is stomping is foot on the ground (making you want to as well).

Waiting on a Song is so clever; it is delicious. The album is a total blast from the past that will have you transported somewhere to the 60s and 70s within seconds. If someone had told me this album was from these decades, I’d have believed them. It’s so authentic it’ll make everyone want more. However, it does have a modern twist on it that justifies its place in the 21st century (and some awards too). Dan Auerbach has done a remarkable job.

9.5/10


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Album Review: The Charlatans – Different Days

By Brogan McKeown (Link 2 Site)

Different Days by The Charlatans is a musical treat that is bound to make you wish you were abroad with a cold beer in hand with the sun beating down on you. The album really is a zesty flow of sounds, many with an almost soothing melody- bound to be very pleasing to your ears.

This is the band’s 13th studio album and is a sequel to their previous album, Modern Nature. 13 is said to be an unlucky number, but not for The Charlatans. The album was self-produced in the band’s studio in Crewe, an English town and is full of famous names which is enough to get everyone waiting in anticipation for its release including Paul Weller, Johnny Marr, and Kurt Wagner, pretty much making any fan of music screech in glee.

Still going strong, and with the resurgence of 90s music, the band has really captured the hearts of their die hard fans and news ones alike. Different Days is like stepping into a time machine. A particular highlight has to be the eponymous track Different Days which is full to the brim with character. While the track bares a lot of pressure considering its self-titled nature, it manages to wonderfully set the tone for the album very early on and with an appearance from Johnny Marr, a guitar playing icon, it’s no surprise to have such a powerful rock sound fuelling every second of the track

Two tracks later, The Charlatans show they’re still capable of giving off major 90s vibes on Plastic Machinery. The song breeds an almost dream-like sound transporting you to a different place as your ears take it all in. With lines like “our love is just like a dream to me” the euphoria is projected and the song becomes very catchy, very quickly. Groovy and psychedelic, it makes for some easy listening though that should not be viewed as an insult. While they’ve been around for a long time, The Charlatans still show no sign of fatigue as Plastic Machinery is so appealing and so revivifying that it will remind you of why love this band in the first place.

Over Again is a track with a  lot of different sounds going on. When the song starts, straight away, you’re taken back to the 90s with the familiar sounding electronic drum heard in many club songs during that period. Then the song goes into a more wavy, indie sound as lead singer, Tim Burgess, begins to sing with a jumpy melody that soon goes into short guitar strums as the song picks up right before the chorus. As the chorus begins, the music quickly turns into an 80s synth pop sound which is so pleasing that it is hard not to love this song. While the abundance of different sounds on display would have you worried that it would be over encumbered, this track manages to shake off any doubts and will have you listening to it, well, over and over again.

Image result for the charlatans 2017

Considering it’s a title you wouldn’t be surprised to hear in that decade, Spinning Out is unapologetically 90s: despite starting off with a classic piano, the track breaks out into an unapologetic ballad that portrays the longing of its protagonist. “Trying to get back there again with you” is one to fill you with nostalgia and one to relate to also. Like many of the lyrics in this album, this one has been used to evoke a feeling and to stand out in your brain.

Interestingly, the song features icon, Paul Weller, and is another song on the album that takes the band away from their comfort zone. However, this does not fail them as it is a great piece of music. Weller and The Charlatans may have seemed like an unlikely duo but the song is unlikely to disappoint.

The Charlatans have brought something to this album that many artists fail to do and that’s really engaging with their fans and providing them with something new but also something very true to their sound. The album features many different sounds from decades before it; the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s with the 90s being the most prominent influence. Different Days is so refreshing and this really is incredible for a band that has been in the industry for so long. The Charlatans prove it’s possible to keep on producing such fantastic albums; an art which you just cannot lose. With incredible melodies, synth, and guitar- the album is a groovy cocktail for your ears to get drunk on.

If you’re looking for an exhilarating trip back to the 90s. Listen no further.

9/10


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