The Arcs - Yours, Dreamily, - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Arcs - Yours, Dreamily,

by Justin Pearson Rating:5 Release Date:2015-09-04

Dan Auerbach is a busy guy. When not fronting The Black Keys - the band he's most famous for - he's usually lending a producing hand and contributing his talents to other such acts as Hacienda, Dr. John, and Lana Del Rey to name just a few. It should come as no surprise then that side project The Arcs sees him dabbling once again, leading yet another band on debut album Yours, Dreamily,.

There's confidence and confusion in equal measure on Yours, Dreamily, and the familiar Auerbach-esque blues and soul becomes weighed down by the latter so as not to leave much of a mark emotionally or memory-wise. They keep things basic for the most part, but when they expand on certain sounds it's in a tentative manner, so much of what could be great is held back and remains a little flat.

When the album works, it works quite nicely. Lead track 'Outta My Mind' is the perfect blend of blues and rock, its fun, playful tone a reminder of what Auerbach does so well.

'Pistol Made Of Bones' has a dusty, tumbleweed-like roll forward washed over with a mariachi tint. It works well paired with following track 'Everything You Do (You Do For You)', which clippety-clops along, embodying the imagery of the opening lyric: "We put the horse before the cart."

The boxing metaphor of 'Stay In My Corner' is sappy, but Auerbach's delivery turns it into something irresistably sweet. It's solid and sure, amounting to one of the best tracks on the album, and also the most singable: "Stay in my corner babe/ Stay in my corner please/ Stay in my corner babe/ I will fight for you if you fight for me too."

But then there's songs like 'Cold Companion' that don't offfer much more than a fleeting shadow, making you wonder if the band just got bored somwhere along the way.

'Nature's Child' lightly embraces a psychedelic, funky vibe but never really lives up to its potential, while 'Chains Of Love' has the sound of a great idea that was in the works and never got fully fleshed out. The female vocals point it in the direction of something big, yet as a whole it doesn't seem to know how to capitalize on the moment.

'Come & Go' has an obvious sexy swagger, but it ends up feeling a bit muddled with the swirl of voices and intermittent orgasmic woman that show up in the background. It has good intentions, but its aim succumbs to a lazy temptation and turns from a sharp prod to a dull plod.

The main problem with Yours, Dreamily, is that it doesn't seem too sure what it wants to be. It's a loose mix of soul, funk, blues and old-time western. It ends up becoming something admirable in its attempt, even if it ultimately fails to really stick and be an album that's memorable. But still, the music world needs creative, risk-taking artists like Auerbach either at the helm or below deck even if the ship he's on isn't set to full speed or completely sure of its course. When all is said and done, it's the journey that's important anyway, right?

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