Considering how stripped-down The Black Keys are anyway (two guys keepin’ it raw), it’s not too difficult to imagine what a solo record from one of them would sound like. Singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach’s first such effort, Keep It Hid, is a gritty album full of his trademark, soul-drenched vocals and rugged guitar effects. So, yes, it sounds like a Black Keys album.
What makes this solo release different from any of the duo’s is a greater sense of Auerbach’s range. Tracks go fluidly from slow, somber ballads to harsher swamp riffs to wild-eyed rockers. The heart-warming ballad “Real Desire” is a strong centerpiece, flanked by the tender opener “Trouble Weighs a Ton” and edgier tracks like “The Prowl”. Keep It Hid has a variety of paces among its tracks, and as each one passes, Auerbach genuinely exudes the emotions driving them.
On his first album away from The Black Keys, Dan Auerbach soulfully shows off his uniquely-styled repertoire. It’s clear from the Keys’ recordings that he has talent to spare, and Keep It Hid confirms it.