In the rock revival of the aughts, The Black Keys were key, delivering killer blues-rock that was a hit with the mainstream. Such a mainstream hit that they became huge, and veered towards more polished production with records like 2014’s Turn Blue (QRO review) and 2019’s “Let’s Rock” (QRO review). But last year, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney took the lockdown opportunity to reconnect with their roots, delivering an album of hill country blues covers, Delta Kream (QRO review). The hope that it pointed towards a more down-home style bears fruit with Dropout Boogie.
From the first raw notes of opener “Wild Child”, this is The Black Keys that you remember, both delivering old school blues and keeping it fresh. Admittedly, perhaps no other track on Dropout quite reaches the heights of “Child”, but the duo nicely keep their sly & rough ways on pieces like the following “It Ain’t Over” and “Your Team Is Looking Good”. And they’ve stayed tapped into their hill country blues and its hypnotic boogie, particularly on the back half, with songs such as “Burn The Damn Thing Down”, “Happiness”, and closer “Didn’t I Love You”.
The Black Keys are still a blues-rock band, first & foremost, and reviving their roots has meant sticking to them, making Dropout not wildly varied. But this is the Black Keys Boogie you’re looking for.