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: Jake Bellissimo – Piece Of Ivy

Artists creating content under monikers isn’t anything new but seeing a musician go by the name of “gay angel” is eye catching to say the least. While most artificial names musicians will use are only skin deep, Jake Bellissimo’s use of the title is a perfect indication of the music he provides: wonderfully blissful and, if we’re going by the dictionary definition of being happy, very gay.

The eponymously titled track Piece Of Ivy was released at the tail end of last month and perfectly set the scene for what listeners can expect on this six track LP. With the delicate playing of piano alongside the plucking of his acoustic guitar, there’s a definite feeling of acceptance, almost like the epilogue to the depression ridden nature of Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago.

The rest of this release seems like it will carry the same positivity as the opener and thankfully spices things up as it goes on. Take for instance the small 44 second interlude Memento Mori which, as the title would suggest, feels very reflective and, alongside the use of an accordion near the end of the track as well as some romance tinged lyrics, feels like what you’d expect to hear on a gondola ride alongside your beloved sweetheart.

However, the latter half of Piece Of Ivy takes a dark turn just after the purely instrumental track The Burning Sky which feels theatre-esque. Grand in scale, boasting bodacious orchestral arrangements, the track feels utterly shocking due to what has came before. (A Considerable Amount Of) “Ow” makes the comparison between heartbreak and physical pain quite well, talking of broken legs alongside the instability that inevitably follows a romance gone sour.

This is where Bellissimo doesn’t so much shine but radiate storytelling beauty. Swan Song definitely captures the bitterness of an ex lover, going through his mundane start to the day while dwelling on the past. The isolated guitar strumming feels like a perfect match and the previous resemblance to Bon Iver comes out on full force.

“Does the light reflect off your beating eyes” are one of the many lines that hit home a wave of empathy, undisputedly evoking emotion due to the sincere and simple beauty Bellissimo’s love displays. Piece Of Ivy deserves a listen due to its ambition, excellent execution and, just like the old flame in question, the power it has over you.

8/10

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