The Arcs' "Yours, Dreamily" (Nonesuch)
Befitting an album by one of the Black Keys, "Yours, Dreamily" is full of guitar solos, drums that sound like explosives and bluesy love-is-dead lines such as "the milk inside the fridge, it turned/the bridge between us, it burned." But just as the Keys have evolved over 14 years from garage-rock duo to something more sophisticated and melodic, guitarist Dan Auerbach's new side project is deeper than it seems. Auerbach replaces Patrick Carney's relentless thunder with sympathetic soul men and women, including members of Sharon Jones' veteran Dap-Kings. Auerbach can't totally overcome his limitations and pet ideas. Lyrically, there is a lot of putting the cart before the horse, being forever stuck in Mississippi and living like a king near the gates of hell. And while most of his production puts the right sounds in the right places, such as the repeating little guitar riff that holds up the soulful, should-be hit "Cold Companion," he overshoots with distracting sex noises throughout "Come & Go."
Steve Knopper, Newsday