Boys & Girls

Boys & Girls

by Alabama Shakes
4.5 2

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Overview

Boys & Girls

Pitched somewhere between the retro-purist vibe of Sharon Jones and the nervy revivalism of Jack White, Alabama Shakes possesses a curious character: they're rooted in the past but it's clear they've learned their moves musicians removed some three or four generations from the source. Instead of playing like refractions from a hall of mirrors, Alabama Shakes' 2012 debut Boys & Girls emphasizes how American roots music is now grounded in the '60s notion of blues & soul, all filtered through the prism of '70s classic rock. And it's not just that Heath Fogg tears great, gnarled riffs out of his guitar while the rhythm section of Zac Cockrell and Steve Johnson hit the downbeat with a brutal force -- lead singer Brittany Howard phrases like a rock singer, playing up vocal affections with glee, ratcheting up the drama by laying hard into her elongated phrases. Which isn't to say Alabama Shakes ignores the straight stuff: much of Boys & Girls is anchored in a Southern soul groove spliced from Stax and Muscle Shoals, the guitars of Fogg and Howard full and bold in their cleanly chopped rhythms, echoing the work of Steve Cropper and Jimmy Johnson. But Alabama Shakes aren't purists, they're modern -- they splice familiar sounds and forms together, then reshuffle them in subtly surprising ways. Unlike White or his Great Lakes cousins the Black Keys, Alabama Shakes aren't entirely enamored with what they can re-create in the studio -- they're too attached to the power of a live performance, making them an ideal candidate for a T-Bone Burnett or Joe Henry production somewhere down the road -- but they bear no special allegiance to the didactic needs of retro-rock. Their roots are just that -- roots, not anchors, allowing the group to grow, often in unexpected and quietly thrilling ways.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/10/2012
Label: Ato Records
UPC: 0880882178727
catalogNumber: 21787
Rank: 8170

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Alabama Shakes   Primary Artist
Paul Horton   Organ,Piano,farfisa organ,fender rhodes
Steve Johnson   Percussion,Drums,Background Vocals,Group Member
Micah Hulscher   Organ,Piano
Mitch Jones   Organ
Ben Tanner   Organ,Piano
Brittany Howard   Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Vocals,Group Member
Zac Cockrell   Bass,Guitar,Background Vocals,Group Member
Heath Fogg   Guitar,Percussion,Background Vocals,Group Member

Technical Credits

Kevin Morris   Management
Brett Kilroe   Art Direction
Ben Ayres   Publicity
Ambrosia Healy   Publicity
Christine Stauder   Management
Andrija Tokic   Producer,Engineer
Erin Cooney   Publicity
Alabama Shakes   Composer,Producer
Jamie Woolgar   Publicity
Camille Augarde   Publicity

Customer Reviews

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Boys & Girls 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
poughkeepsiejohn More than 1 year ago
The Alabama Shakes have only been around for a few years. In fact, their lead singer, Brittany Howard, is only 22 years old. Yet, this band plays with the fiery intensity of an Atlantic/Stax group from the late 1960's. And Brittany? Well, some have compared her to Janis Joplin. But she's got the voice of a huskier, smokier Macy Gray and she can play guitar with the best of them. "Boys and Girls" is their first album and if Phil Spector ever got around to making an album of soulful Southern music, it might have sounded like this: a Wall of Sound with thunderous guitars and a bodacious, emotional female singer leading the way. Judging from their material, which they all wrote, Brittany Howard is a very spiritual person. Howard writes and sings of God and hope in the rousing opener, "Hold On" and the touching climax, "On Your Way". Yet, when The Alabama Shakes barnstorm through a Muscle Shoals-type rocker like "I Found You", it's hard to tell if Brittany is singing about God or a boyfriend. Then again, with music this tremendous, it really doesn't matter. Already a contender for one of the best new bands of 2012, The Alabama Shakes, like many of the artists for Daptone Records, are bringing back classic soul music to the masses in a big way. As for Brittany Howard, she's a singer to be reckoned with. But let's not forget about the band.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best bands to come around in years. I'm a big Drive by Truckers fan and these guys (and gal) are right up there with them. Soulful and sincere. I'd give it 10 stars if I could.