Dan Auerbach Stretches Out With The Arcs’ Debut ‘Yours, Dreamily,’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

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arcsPlaying in one of the biggest rock bands in the world isn’t enough for Dan Auerbach who has expertly produced records by famous artists (Dr. John’ fantastic Locked Down) and released solo albums (2009’s Keep It Hid) before now moving into a new group with some friends called The Arcs. What is most surprising about Yours, Dreamily is how much it resembles his main acts last album Turn Blue.

That album was bookended by two standout tracks but predominantly played as a laid back groove/mellow excursion about breaking up with someone and Yours, Dreamily continues that vibe. Tracks like the fuzz drenched “Put A Flower In It” and “Pistol” could have been outtakes from Turn Blue. This isn’t a negative though, both songs move.

When songs really excel like on the sleek “Cold Companion” the group gets to flex some funky muscles while adding ringing harmonies. Supporting Auerbach are Richard Swift, Homer Steinweiss, Leon Michels, Nick Movshon, Kenny Vaughan, and Mariachi Flor de Toloache.

The players expressive power funk on “Out Of My Mind” bouncing with style while the soulful pleading of “Stay In My Corner” is excellently recorded and performed; as the first single it is a clear cut winner. When the band does try something new, like the sound effects in “Everything You Do” or the horn/high vocal pairing in “Nature’s Child” interesting results roll out. Then again the heavy breathing piano focused “Come and Go” seems like a swing and miss, but it is certainly different.

“Velvet Ditch” straddles both worlds with it’s fluttering horn work before resolving into the standard blues rock vamp. “The Arc” as well pushes buzzing axes, that motor along and fall directly back into Auerbach’s scruffy blues wheelhouse.

The Arcs don’t so much feel like a side project at all rather an extension of the Black Keys most recent work and a touch derivative for Auerbach. When crafting a new outing with expert players trying out new avenues was hoped for/expected but when the record spins the songs on Yours, Dreamily do their job, producing soulful rock and roll.

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