The frequently solo-flying one half of The Black Keys whole, Dan Auerbach, has released a chipper, upbeat, almost Gospel-like-in-its-revelry single which ups the clap-along factor considerably when compared to the solemn obscurity of The Arcs project he piloted in 2015.
Dan has impressed in the past with exhibiting just how far he can veer from the seductively dirty blues riffs and gritty two-man simplicity synonymous with The Black Keys- when he's working on anything that isn't The Black Keys. From the downright megalithic hip-hop hooks churned out by the BlakRoc project, to the almost experimental psychedelia of The Arcs, Dan flaunts a bit of a Midas touch when he picks up anything with six strings and a fretboard.
While "Shine on Me" does borrow from the happy-go-lucky playbook of The Black Keys' slightly out of character Turn Blue, the sheer saccharine gaiety of the single's nimble drums, beaming acoustic guitars, tiptoeing chimes and actual hand clapping push Dan into a region of the rock 'n' roll spectrum in which he may have seemed out of place, had he not had the sheer skill to translate even the most untoward of genre-bending efforts into something cohesive, brilliant, and authentically Auerbach. Indeed, his smoky vocal work and effect-laden guitar shredding are still prominent, albeit with a choir-like harmony of female vocals to back his lead.
"Shine on Me" commands a certain level of leniency from fans who are die-hard advocates of the sooty stripped-down shredding of the early Keys days, but it is undeniably Dan, and a pleasant continuation of the high-frequency of releases that we've enjoyed from Auerbach and his associated acts over the past couple of years.