Dan Auerbach

Keep It Hid

[4.5/5]

Why in God’s name would Dan Auerbach, the singer in a two-piece band, feel compelled to make a solo record? There’s certainly nothing on Keep It Hid that would’ve sounded out of place on a “full-band” sequel to the Black Keys’ Attack & Release. Okay, maybe the keyboards pretending they’re strings on the haunting “When The Night Comes,” where his reassurances are backed by ethereal female vocals. And the bluegrass tracks may be a bit more front-porch than his real band would have done them. But it’s doubtful any Keys fan will mistake this for betrayal as Auerbach moves flawlessly through all of his favorite frames of reference, from the Kinks-gone-psychedelic riffs of “Heartbroken, In Disrepair” to the Stooge-rocking swagger of “Street Walkin’.” (NONESUCH; nonesuch.com) Ed Masley