Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song we just can’t get out of our head each week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist. For our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, The Black Keys remind us why they’re one of the most reliable rock bands in the world.
After last year’s love letter to Mississippi Hill Country Blues Delta Kream, The Black Keys have returned with full force. This week, the Akron, Ohio duo of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have announced their eleventh studio album, Dropout Boogie, and shared the lead single, the thumping “Wild Child.”
Dropout Boogie will be released on May 13th, a day before the 20th anniversary of their debut album The Big Come Up, and after forays into psychedelia and 1950s blues covers, it’s clear that The Black Keys are keen on returning to their working class, blues rock roots.
“Wild Child” is a driving, funk-influenced howler, with Auerbach’s expressive, commanding vocals taking the spotlight. The song oscillates primarily between only two chords, but The Black Keys populate each moment with energy, experience, and an untouchable air of cool. It’s a track that will undoubtedly make its way to the higher end of the rock and alternative charts — not because it fits well into the current sound of radio-centric sync, but because it also harkens back to their commercially successful heyday of their 2010 masterpiece Brothers and 2011’s El Camino.
And overall, “Wild Child” represents the fact that The Black Keys still have a great deal of gas left in the tank — their chemistry together is undeniable, and it’s their uncanny ability to create an incredibly cohesive sound and vision of the band seemingly out of nothing that will continue to sustain them throughout the decade.
At the end of the day, all Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney need to do is sit down and play. For The Black Keys, that will always be enough.
— Paolo Ragusa