The Black Keys – Dropout Boogie (2022) [FLAC 24bit/48kHz]

The Black Keys – Dropout Boogie (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 34:01 minutes | 410 MB | Genre: Blues Rock, Alternative Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Nonesuch

Entering the third decade of their existence, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney announce their eleventh Black Keys album, to be released the day before the twentieth anniversary of their 2002 debut album ‘The Big Come Up’. Featuring collaborations with Reigning Sound’s Greg Cartwright and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, the album is built around raw first takes, its rough blues-rock directly linking back to the band’s roots.

With Dan Auerbach now a studio owner and label chief, it’s natural to wonder how he is finding the time to write quality songs and record with his original band. Or focus enough to make another masterpiece like 2004’s Rubber Factory or 2011’s El Camino. That situation may have influenced the title of this collection, but any fears about consistency or the way forward are dispelled by the opening riff rocker, “Wild Child.” The vintage Black Keys three chord tromper “Your Team is Looking Good” also rocks convincingly, and they get back to one of their core strengths—Mississippi hill country blues stomp, which they celebrated on their last album, Delta Kream—in “For the Love of Money.” In a strange turn, the biggest guest here, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons isn’t asked to do much in the mid-tempo “Good Love,” which he co-wrote. Recorded at Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound studio in Nashville over a five-month period in summer and fall of 2021, Dropout Boogie was engineered by M. Allen Parker and Caleb VanBuskirk and mixed by the A-list talents of Tchad Blake and Tom Elmhirst. Percussionist Sam Bacco adds variety to Patrick Carney’s drumming. A deceptively capable vocalist, Auerbach takes a very credible stab at writing and singing a ballad in “How Long” which is fleshed out by a harpsichord and backup vocals by Cincinnati’s Andy Gabbard (Thee Shams, Buffalo Killers) who also tours as The Black Keys’ second guitarist. Auerbach sings incendiary lyrics, “If we make it to your town/ We’re gonna burn the damn thing down” in odd, leisurely fashion in the decidedly non-menacing, “Burn the Damn Thing Down.” And near its end, “Baby I’m Coming Home” breaks into the signature riff from the Allman Brothers, “Midnight Rider.” As the album’s second half winds down, so does the strength of the tunes, but you’ll still find the same fuzzy guitars, big beats and layered vocals that have made their sound special. If not essential Black Keys, the lower key Dropout Boogie is at least more of what’s made them one of the last major rock bands left alive. – Robert Baird

Tracklist:
1-01. The Black Keys – Wild Child (02:44)
1-02. The Black Keys – It Ain’t Over (03:48)
1-03. The Black Keys – For the Love of Money (03:31)
1-04. The Black Keys – Your Team Is Looking Good (03:05)
1-05. The Black Keys – Good Love (feat. Billy F Gibbons) (03:37)
1-06. The Black Keys – How Long (03:20)
1-07. The Black Keys – Burn the Damn Thing Down (02:57)
1-08. The Black Keys – Happiness (03:44)
1-09. The Black Keys – Baby I’m Coming Home (03:08)
1-10. The Black Keys – Didn’t I Love You (04:01)

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