Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls review

Posted on 20 March 2012
By Matt Barden
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The Alabama Shakes have been brewing up a storm. Hotly tipped to be huge in 2012, the Deep-South quartet have opened for Jack White and had the interweb ablaze off the back of one EP and live performances alone.

Hold On has been doing the rounds on the Net and kicks off their first LP Boys & Girls.

The soulful, bluesy number sees lead singer Brittany Howard wailing, ‘Bless my heart/and bless yours too/I don’t know where I’m gonna go/don’t know what I’m gonna do.’

Their Deep-South roots are evident on Hang Loose and Goin’ to the Party, but the Alabama Shakes don’t rely solely on the barnstorming music of the South.

I Found You merges Rock with a sprinkling of Gospel, while Heartbreaker is more of a soulful, slow paced affair.

What is evident is the range and talent of Howard’s voice, caught somewhere between Tina Turner and Robert Plant, she has a knack of making you feel every damn note.

The Alabama Shakes are another band that sound like they are from a different era, maybe it’s something to do with the timelessness of genres like the Blues and Soul, but they do not sound like a group from 2012.

Between the voice and the Southern melodies, the Shakes can really rock.

Boys & Girls will have you stompin’ and clappin’ all around the house whether you like it or not.

Hold On remains the standout track from the album, but that is more a comment on how good it is rather than the standard of the rest of the tracks.

There is a nice mix of genres and tempos to keep things from becoming repetetive. Lyrically and musically it is a solid offering.

The Shakes will push on from this first LP and Howard’s range and spine-tingling delivery should help them reach the likes of fellow Southerners The White Stripes in the not too distant future.