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Keep It Hid

4.7 out of 5 stars 105 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

On his solo debut, Black Keys singer and guitarist Dan Auerbach takes a simple approach: 'I just wanted to do the things I loved.' For Auerbach, that means combining elements of bluegrass a la the Stanley Brothers, mournful country balladry, Memphis-style R&B, fuzzed-out psychedelic rock and low-down blues on this collection of 14 original tunes, which Auerbach self-produced and recorded with friends and family at his family at his newly built studio, Akron Analog.
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Digital Booklet: Keep It Hid
Digital Booklet: Keep It Hid
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 10, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B001NKWLGW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,770 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Is anybody not yet on board? The conductor is certainly making it difficult to ignore him. In early 2008 he, along with his co-conspirator in the Black Keys Patrick Carney, released Attack and Release, another gem in their growing catalog. Later last year they dropped a concert DVD Live at the Crystal Ballroom, a document that further cements their status as a band to be reckoned with. And now, only three months down the road, Auerbach rolls out his first solo venture. Keep It Hid could hardly be a less appropriate title considering that the peripatetic singer/songwriter has done anything but hide this past year.

What's the story behind all this superhuman productivity? Auerbach has stated that, quite simply, he never stops working. Equal parts driven and inspired, it made all the sense in the world for him to build his own studio. Akron Analog, named after his hometown and preferred method of recording, is where he began assembling the rough cuts, mostly written during recent tours, into the songs that came together as Keep It Hid.

In addition to singing, guitar playing and his role as producer, Auerbach tackled drums, percussion and other instruments including glockenspiel. To further flesh out the sound, he recruited friends and family. Bob Cesare, also a multi-instrumentalist, handles the additional drum duties, and guitarist James Quine (Auerbach's uncle, and first cousin of late underground guitar hero Robert Quine) chimes in. This all hands on deck approach results in an aggressive yet nuanced recording, which manages to take the greasy edge off the Black Keys' signature sound without sacrificing any of its bluster.

Keep It Hid is not a retreat from the sonic explorations Auerbach undertook on Attack and Release, it is an expansion of them.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
First of all, the music is great. No complaints. However I have now bought and sent back 2
records to amazon due to the albums being warped. As most of you vinyl-o-philes are aware,
playing warped records on your turntable (mine are all vintage) is not good for them. Not sure
what is going on with this batch of lp's but if you purchase this product, make sure you throw
it on the platter and check it for problems.
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Format: Audio CD
As a fan of the Black Keys, I had high expectations for this solo release from Dan Auerbach. But, would he really branch out to incorporate different instruments and styles into this music? Or would it sound like a group of Black Keys songs. The answer is a little of both and the results are phenomenal.

It's as if this album was unearthed from a time capsule when music was full of soul and not so heavily controlled and overmarketed. The confidence of both the playing and songwriting is quite astounding. Traditional electric blues machismo is shown on "I Want Some More" with its fuzzed out guitars and driving beats. This is the type of song that the Black Keys could have put on one of their recent albums. But, listeners get a left turn with a song like "When the Night Comes" which is achingly beautiful with its sparse instrumentals and heartfelt lyrics and vocals.

The best thing about the album is the flow of the songs. There is so much variety in the styles within the mellow bookends of "Trouble Weighs a Ton" and "Going Home" that the listener is never bored. Hopefully, this isn't the first solo release by Auerbach because I will be there anytime he decides exorcise his inner musical demons. Well done!
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Format: Audio CD
I really don't know what was going on with The Black Keys at this time.

I kinda fell out of touch with the band after Attack & Release. I was very dissapointed with that album. The rawness and dirt of previous releases now had a metallic sheen, and the killer riffs were replaced by more atmospheric songs that were not as engaging as earlier albums. I liked it, but I wasn't in love with it like I was with Rubber Factory and Thickfreakness. So, I kinda stopped listening to them for a while.

Then I heard that Dan Aurebach was going solo. I wondered if that was the end for the band. Fortuantly, it wasn't (Brothers and El Camino will gladly tell you that it won't be over for a long time.). I wondered what a Dan Aurebach solo album would sound like.

Well, I can tell you. It sounds GOOD.

This album doesn't really sound all too different from The Black Keys, and yet at the same time, it sounds nothing like them. In the case of Dan it's not so much that Patrick Carney, drummer for the Black Keys, holds him back as that he's such a distinctive, powerful drummer that he colors and changes Auerbach's playing. On this record, the album emphasizes more on feel than on force.

Songs on this record are swampier and spacier than the Keys' releases, such as the stomp of Heartbroken In Disrepair, I Want Some More, and Mean Monsoon. There's a more psychedelic feel on this release than ever before, with the angry wah-buildup on Street Walkin, and the country vibe of My Last Mistake.

A lot of these ideas and flavors would be repeated on the band's 2010 release, Brothers. In many ways, this is a perfect bridge between Attack and Release and later releases. Get it if you like watching a songwriter grow.
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